Environment

Chemical Industry Helps Fund EPA Study

The American Chemistry Council is giving the Environmental Protection Agency $2 million for a study to explore the impact of pesticides and household chemicals on young children. The trade association, which represents nearly 150 chemical and plastics manufacturers and has a $100 million budget, spent more than $2 million on lobbying in 2003.

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Arnold's Hollywood Hummer

"A smiling Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wheeled a shiny new Hummer into a hydrogen fueling station at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday in what aides called a fulfillment of a campaign promise to convert one of his tank-sized gas guzzlers to run on the alternative fuel," the Los Angeles Times reports. "However, the entire made-for-media event, staged before about 300 dignitaries, hydrogen power advocates and journalists, had more than a hint of Hollywood make-believe.

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Bottom Line Environmental Protection

The controversial head of an obscure agency in the White House is a "lightening rod" for criticism of Bush administration regulatory actions. John D. Graham runs the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and is "known as a stickler for the bottom line," the Seattle Times' Alex Fryer writes. "Through rigorous analysis, Graham wants to create 'smart' regulation that protects the environment at lower cost. But it is a process fraught with subjectivity.

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EPA: What's a Little Toxic Emission Among Friends?

"For the third time, environmental advocates have discovered passages in the Bush administration's proposal for regulating mercury pollution from power plants that mirror almost word for word portions of memos written by a law firm representing coal-fired power plants." The passages, in language from the Latham & Watkins firm, say the

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California Lobbyist's Pesky Pesticide Past

A former farm lobbyist will become California's top pesticide regulator, despite complaints from environmentalists. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mary-Ann Warmerdam, who worked for the California Farm Bureau Federation from 1981 to 2001, to head the state's Department of Pesticide. Warmerdam currently is a lobbyist for Pacific Gas & Electric.

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PR Firm Out of the Woods

Congressional investigators with the Government Accountability Office concluded that the U.S. Forest Service did not violate any laws by hiring the PR firm OneWorld Communications. The unusual $90,000 contract for the "Forests with a Future" campaign promoted new policies increasing logging in California's Sierra Nevada forests.

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