The Current


Putin says cheap natural gas is coming to an end


The era of cheap gas is coming to an end. That’s the announcement that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told ministers during a meeting with the world’s major gas-exporting countries, known as the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). The forum is being attended by countries like Algeria, Bolivia, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, according to the BBC.

Continue reading Putin says cheap natural gas is coming to an end

EPA fails to disclose health risks to the public


Oh EPA, can’t you do anything right these days?

A recent investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that the federal agency is guilty of yet another misdeed: hiding new information about chemicals that may pose a risk to human health.

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, companies must disclose to the EPA any new health information they have about chemicals they use. The EPA is then required to notify the public of these risks so that consumers can stay informed of the latest information about chemicals in their products or local environments.

Continue reading EPA fails to disclose health risks to the public

US battery makers form alliance to promote production of greener vehicles


There hasn’t been much good news coming from the auto industry lately, so we were excited to see some progress being made: Yesterday, 14 companies announced they would form an alliance to promote America’s lithium-ion battery production. The alliance, called the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, hopes that automakers will use the American-produced batteries in next-generation hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles.

Better American battery production can’t come soon enough: Right now, foreign countries dominate lithium-ion battery development, with most batteries coming from Asia and Europe. GM recently said it might even use foreign-produced batteries in its 2010 Chevy Volt, the automaker’s widely publicized plug-in electric sedan (though the flailing GM recently put the Volt’s factory plans on hold due to its current financial troubles).

Continue reading US battery makers form alliance to promote production of greener vehicles

Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture draws both half-hearted praise and criticism from environmentalists


Environmentalists all hoped that Obama’s cabinet picks would form a mean, green eco-dream team. And some recent appointments elicited high praise from greenies: Steven Chu as energy secretary, Carol Browner as climate and energy adviser (or “czar”), and Nancy Sutley as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality were welcomed with open arms. More recent choices, however, have encountered far more mixed reactions.

For one, Lisa Jackson as head of the EPA. While many enviros think she’s a tough gal who can whip the flailing agency back into shape, others criticize the way she handled New Jersey’s toxic waste. Many greens believe Ken Salazar, Obama’s pick for Secretary of the Interior, is too centrist in his views—though Salazar acknowledges the need for renewables, he also advocates for continued coal, oil, and natural gas development. And the most recent pick to receive mediocre—or in some cases, downright scathing—opinions from enviros is Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture.

Continue reading Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture draws both half-hearted praise and criticism from environmentalists

Bush administration allowed corporations to pollute waterways


Get ready to lose your lunch: The Bush Administration has shamed environmentalists once again. And this time, we’re not talking about another sickeningly un-eco 11th-hour regulation.

Results of a Congressional investigation released yesterday show that the Bush administration has delayed or dropped more than 500 Clean Water Act violation cases since 2006. In other words, developers and corporations have been allowed to sully America’s waterways for years without being penalized.

Continue reading Bush administration allowed corporations to pollute waterways

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Issue 25



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