JESSICA CORBETT – Environmental and Indigenous activists celebrated Friday after Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took action to shut down the decades-old Enbridge Line 5 oil and natural gas pipelines that run under the Straits of Mackinac, narrow waterways that connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan—two of the Great Lakes.
BRETT WILKINS – “Nearly 200,000 Americans are dead and more than 6 million have been infected with Covid-19 because of the administration’s disastrous response, but Trump’s top priority is showering giant corporations with deregulatory special favors,” says Matt Kent of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
MICHAEL PECK – In another sign that the nuclear arms race is heating up, the U.S. is ramping up production of nuclear bomb cores.
SHARON LERNER – The people who wrote an ordinance banning the aerial spraying of pesticides in western Oregon last year aren’t professional environmental advocates. Their group, Lincoln County Community Rights, has no letterhead, business cards, or paid staff. Its handful of core members includes the owner of a small business that installs solar panels, a semi-retired Spanish translator, an organic farmer who raises llamas, and a self-described caretaker and Navajo-trained weaver. And yet this decidedly homespun group of part-time, volunteer, novice activists managed a rare feat:
WILLIAM D. HARTUNG – Never has a society spent more for less.
HARVEY WASSERMAN – Donald Trump’s first budget makes his antipathy to the environment clear—and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power even clearer.
JON QUEALLY – We’re under attack, says author and climate campaigner Bill McKibben, and the only way to defeat the enemy is to declare a global war against the destructive practices that threaten the world’s imperiled ecosystems and human civilization as we know it.
METEOR BLADE (TIMOTHY LANGE) – The U.S. Supreme Court plunked a setback into the lap of the Environmental Protection Agency Monday [6-29-15] by trashing the agency’s regulation of emissions of mercury and other air toxins (MATS) from electricity-generating plants. The court overturned a lower-court decision in the case of Michigan v. EPA stating that the agency had acted reasonably when it chose not to consider compliance costs first in its effort to control those emissions. The justices split 5-4, with the four liberals on the side of the EPA and the four conservatives and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the side of industry and the states that had sued.
CHRIS THOMAS – PORTLAND, Ore. – “Out with the old, in with the new” takes on a whole new meaning when the topic is electronic gear. A new national certification program ensures that recyclers properly dispose of items such as laptops, televisions and cell phones. According to the Basel Action Network (BAN), a toxic-waste watchdog group, the oversight is necessary for what’s become an international environmental nightmare.
JOHN LAFORGE – There is no safe level of exposure to ionizing radiation, only legally “allowable” doses. Types of ionizing radiation include gamma rays, beta and alpha particles, and X-rays emitted by radioactive elements — like the iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90 and even plutonium-239 — that have been spewed into the air and the sea in huge quantities by the triple reactor meltdowns that began in Japan last year, and that are dispersed to the air, water and to dump sites in smaller amounts by the everyday operation of nuclear power and medicine.