Environment

Drink Up

A grand jury report on groundwater contamination in Escambia County, Florida, has been released charging that local, state and federal agencies responsible for protecting the environment and public health all failed to inform the public about industrial contamination of the county's water supply, with the Conoco oil company among the area's leading polluters.

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Greenwashing Koch Industries

"Flanked by 'Survivor' champions Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca and two Washington Redskins cheerleaders, a leading D.C. environmentalist took time on Earth Day to thank Wichita-based Koch Industries," reports Alan Bjerga. Doug Siglin, head of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Anacostia River Initiative, praised Koch for helping pick trash out of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. But while Koch colleagues heaped praise on the company, critics wondered whether the event wasn't designed to clean up Koch's image as much as the river.

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And Now, a Word from Our Earth Day Sponsor

"Through concerted marketing and public relations campaigns... 'greenwashers' attract eco-conscious consumers and push the notion that they don't need environmental regulations because they are already environmentally responsible.

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Beyond Posturing

Four years ago BP - the company formerly known as British Petroleum - launched a $200 million ad campaign to rebrand itself as "Beyond Petroleum" and to strut the company's avowed commitment to corporate social responsibility. At its April 16 annual general meeting in London, however, its real face was more visible.

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It's Not Easy, Being Green(washers)

The Forest Service's controversial "Forests With a Future" campaign, handled by PR firm OneWorld Communications, includes a brochure explaining why increased logging will benefit Sierra Nevada forests. "The pamphlet... explains that fire risks have risen as the Sierra's forests have grown more dense in the past century.

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Seeing Green Through Rose-Colored Glasses

"From the heated debate on global warming to the hot air on forests; from the muddled talk on our nation's waters to the convolution on air pollution, we are fighting a battle of fact against fiction on the environment -- Republicans can't stress enough that extremists are screaming 'Doomsday!' when the environment is actually seeing a new and better day," proclaimed an email memo sent to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen.

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Don't Be Fooled

The Green Life, a Boston-based environmental organization, chose April 1 to release its "Don't Be Fooled" report on the "10 worst greenwashers of 2003." Winners included: Project Learning Tree, a front group for the American Forest Foundation; Royal Caribbean International, for giving itself an environmental award and shielding customers from information about raw sewage dumping and other forms of cruise ship pollution; the Environmental Protection Agency, for calling its plan to weaken the Clean Air Act the "C

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'Anti-Chemical' = Pro-Public Health

"Industry officials are expressing grave concern that a growing alliance between environmentalists and patient advocacy groups to link exposure to harmful pollution with chronic diseases and life-long disabilities could add credibility to activists' calls for stricter environmental requirements," Inside EPA reports.

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Dirty Is Clean, Gray Is Green - Vote for Me!

"Republicans can't stress enough that extremists are screaming 'Doomsday!'" reads a leaked memo from the U.S. House of Representatives' Republican Conference communications office to GOP members. The memo isn't referring to the Middle East -- it's offering advice on how to dismiss environmental issues raised by Democratic challengers.

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