Jan 6, 2009 | 7
The environmental legacy of the Bush administration is a matter of some dispute but by designating three more marine monuments in the Pacific today, George W. Bush has entered the annals of history as the protector of 335,000 square miles of ocean. In fact, environmentalists and Bush himself likened the action to President Theodore Roosevelt's creation of the national parks more than a century ago.
"President Roosevelt left office with many achievements and the most enduring of all was his commitment to conservation. As he once said: 'Of all the questions which can come before the nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us,'" Bush said today at the signing ceremony. "That spirit has guided the conservation movement for a century; it's guided my administration. Since 2001, we have put common-sense policies in place, and I can say upon departure, our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our lands are better protected."
Dec 24, 2008
A federal court this week did an about-face, ruling (pdf) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must enforce admittedly faulty regulations restricting power plant emissions until they're replaced by new improved ones.
"We are convinced that, notwithstanding the relative flaws of [the Clean Air Interstate Rule, CAIR], allowing CAIR to remain in effect until it is replaced by a rule consistent with our opinion would at least temporarily preserve the environmental values [translation: clean air] covered by CAIR," the federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., wrote in its decision (pdf) yesterday.
As written, CAIR is the Bush administration's plan to cut emissions of acid-rain-forming sulfur dioxide (SO2), smog-causing nitrogen oxides (NOx)and soot via a cap-and-trade program. Under the plan, which will now take effect on Jan. 1, SO2 emissons are set to be reduced by 70 percent and NOx emissions by 60 percent below 2003 levels by 2015.
Nov 7, 2008 | 11
The science community is abuzz with speculation about who President-elect Barack Obama's picks will be to run two key agencies that consumer groups charge buckled to industry pressure during the Bush administration. Enviros, researchers and company execs are all jockeying for candidates to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when Obama takes the reins.
The Associated Press reports that "more than a half-dozen names are in circulation," for the top FDA job, including the Cleveland Clinic's Steven Nissen, a cardiologist and prominent whistleblower who was an early critic of Vioxx, the blockbuster drug that Merck pulled off the market amid concerns that it dramatically ups the risk of heart attacks in vulnerable patients. Another public advocate mentioned by the AP is Joshua Sharfstein, commissioner of Baltimore's health department. Sharfstein, a former aide to California Rep. Henry Waxman, took up a high-profile fight to curb young children's use of over-the-counter cough medicines, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Oct 13, 2008
Well-known New York Times columnist and Princeton professor of economics Paul Krugman has been awarded the 2008 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Krugman, 55, was recognized for his work on trade theory on the economies of scale. "In the context of both foreign trade and economic geography, the objective is to explain what goods are produced where," Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences noted in a press release. "Theories of economic geography also attempt to specify the forces whereby labor and capital become located in certain places and not others."
Sep 10, 2008 | 5
How do you get permission to drill for oil or natural gas on federal lands? There are a lot of crude (not oil) answers to that question, according to a new report from the Interior Department's Inspector General.
Between 2002 and 2006, members of the 55-person Denver office of the Minerals Management Service received gifts, such as ski trips and dinners, as well as straight-up cash tips while the head—Gregory Smith—used "illegal drugs and had sex with subordinates." The MMS awards and oversees the ability to take oil, natural gas, minerals and other goods from properties controlled by the federal government, such as offshore waters or federal lands in the West.
The scandal is not just confined to Denver, either, the report says. At least 12 other Interior Department employees rigged contracts in favor of particular oil companies, were employed by said companies as consultants and/or had sex with oil company employees.
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