Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Politics

Comments

Relax? Don’t Do It!

Bush Administration Relaxes Clean Air Act Rules In an expected but nonetheless bitter blow to environmentalists, the Bush administration yesterday rolled back the New Source Review rules of the Clean Air Act. Under those rules, utilities were required to install state-of-the-art pollution controls when they upgraded their facilities. Now, those rules will be relaxed for the nation's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, and factories -- some 17,000 of them. That's music to the ears of utility companies, which stand to save hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars from the rule change. Advocates of the rollback …

Comments

Skeptic Tanked

Scientific Panel Dismisses Reports from Danish Environmental Skeptic Recent environmental reports produced by Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish environmental skeptic, were found to be unscientific and of dubious value yesterday by a panel of independent Scandinavian scientists. Lomborg created a stir with his controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist, in which he dismissed a wide range of environmental concerns as overblown. Last year, Denmark's conservative government appointed Lomborg to head a new environmental think tank, the Institute for Environmental Valuation. Earlier this year, a prestigious Danish scientific committee charged Lomborg with scientific dishonesty, and the government then asked the independent panel to …

Read more: Politics

Comments

To Make a Lung Story Short

Clinton and Lieberman Push for Answers on Post-Sept. 11 Air Quality Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) yesterday demanded answers from President Bush about why New Yorkers were not given full information on air-pollution risks near Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Clinton and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) also called for a congressional inquiry into the matter. The brouhaha began last week when the U.S. EPA's inspector general released a report indicating that the White House told the EPA to reassure the public that New York City's air was safe in the days …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Re-sounding Victory

Judge Orders Navy to Curtail Use of Sonar to Protect Marine Life In a victory for ocean advocates, a federal judge in California ruled yesterday that the U.S. Navy can't globally deploy a new submarine-hunting sonar system because the military neglected to follow federal laws when determining whether the sonar could harm whales and other marine animals. At the same time, Judge Elizabeth Laporte rejected requests from environmentalists for a total peacetime ban on the sonar. She ordered the Navy and enviro groups to negotiate a plan that would allow limited use of the technology in areas that are not …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Mexican Standoff

Feds Will Study Environmental Impact of Mexican Trucks on U.S. Roads Bowing to a federal court order, the Bush administration announced yesterday that it will study what the environmental impact would be of an increase in Mexican trucks on U.S. roads. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals banned Mexican trucks from the U.S. in response to a lawsuit filed by environmental, labor, and trucking groups, which claimed that the administration had not determined what effect increased emissions from the trucks would have on air quality. The Transportation Department will proceed with a study, which is expected to take 12 …

Read more: Cities, Politics

Comments

Bill Moyers speaks his mind on Bush-brand environmental destruction and more

Bill Moyers is best known as the broadcast journalist who, for more than 20 years, has brought the public frank, soul-searching, and sometimes frightening examinations of -- well, of almost everything under the sun. On air, he's equally comfortable discussing politics or poetry, scriptures or science. Bill Moyers isn't pulling punches. Photo: PBS. Born in Oklahoma in 1934 and raised in Texas, Moyers has had a highly celebrated and peripatetic career that has included stints as a Baptist minister, deputy director of the Peace Corps in the Kennedy administration, and press secretary to President Johnson. Moyers later became publisher of …

Comments

The Three Amigos

Three Major Companies Join Fight to Protect Tongass Office supply giant Staples and building companies KB Home and Hayward Lumber have joined with environmentalists in opposing a Bush administration proposal that would allow roads and development in southeast Alaska's pristine Tongass National Forest. The three companies, all big users of wood products, have been working with enviro groups to reduce their consumption of old-growth wood and have sent letters to the U.S. Forest Service calling for roadless protections to be maintained in the Tongass as well as Alaska's Chugach National Forest. "The homebuilding industry and similar industries do not need …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Air Apparent

Bush Admin. Lacked Data to Support Relaxing Emissions Rules, GAO Found And that's not all the GAO's been up to. In a report released yesterday, the agency determined that the Bush administration had no real evidence to back up its claims that loosening air pollution rules for industrial plants would lower emissions and reduce health risks. The U.S. EPA, in making its case for revising the "new source review" provision of the Clean Air Act late last year, relied on anecdotes supplied by industry instead of good scientific data, the GAO found. "This report should be the final nail in …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Secret Disservice

Big Biz Shaped Bush Energy Plan, Congressional Investigators Say Corporations had a significant hand in formulating the Bush administration's energy policy, but the full extent of their influence is unknown because the White House has mulishly refused to release information on the matter. That's the word in a report released yesterday by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Executives from petroleum, electricity, nuclear, coal, chemical, and natural gas companies gave detailed recommendations to the energy policy task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, the GAO said, while environmentalists and academic experts were largely shut out of …

Read more: Politics

Comments

An Ice-cold Reception

Protesters Greet Bush as He Touts Environmental Policies in Northwest President Bush made a swing through Oregon and Washington state late last week to talk up his environmental agenda in an attempt to attract eco-concerned suburban voters, but he was met with thousands of protesters who didn't buy his promises to deliver "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests." More than 2,000 demonstrators greeted Bush in Portland, Ore., on Thursday, before he was flown over a forest fire and then touted his fire-prevention strategy, which relies on increased logging in national forests. On Friday, Bush stood in front of the Ice Harbor …