Articles by David Roberts
David Roberts was a staff writer for Grist. You can follow him on Twitter, if you're into that sort of thing.
At 1pm ET on Monday, The Washington Post is hosting a live chat with Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation Voters. Go submit a question and tune in when it gets underway. If you feel you simply must mention Grist, well, who am I to stop you?
UPDATE: It's underway. Head on over.
UPDATE: It's over, but it's still on the site. It was mildly interesting -- as much as hasty replies in one hour can be. My efforts to submit a question subtly hyping Grist were for naught. Sigh.
Earlier this week we pointed to a story about the Bush administration going lightly on a practice called "hydraulic fracturing," a method of getting more oil and gas out of the ground that may or may not pollute groundwater and most definitely represents considerable profits for a lil' company called Halliburton. An EPA official -- Weston Wilson, an environmental engineer -- involved into the agency's analysis of the practice is seeking formal whistle-blower protection, saying the study was flawed and biased. (He is one of an unusual number of whistle-blowers popping up in the Bush administration, as this story makes clear. Wonder why?)
Anyway, it's unlikely it will go anywhere, but five members of Congress -- four Dems and Jim Jeffords (I!) -- have petitioned the EPA inspector general to investigate the matter. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) even had the temerity to wonder whether "political considerations improperly influenced" the EPA study. Perish the thought!
In comments here, clark and da silva agree (more or less) on the following proposition: It would be great if the environment mattered more to swing voters, but it doesn't, and the tactical goal of the debate is to move swing voters, so maybe a green rooting for Kerry should be happy the question didn't come up -- particularly given how Kerry botched it in the second debate.
Well, yes and no.
An analysis of judicial rulings by the Environmental Law Institute shows that judges appointed by Democrats are markedly more likely than judges appointed by Republicans to rule in favor of plaintiffs who sue the feds for violating certain environmental regulations -- and the disparity is even more striking when the focus is on judges appointed by President Bush.