Kevin McCauley, editor for PR trade publication O'Dwyer's PR, calls on General Electric CEO Jack Welch to dredge up the company's PCBs in the Hudson River. Welch has adamantly opposed GE cleaning up the Hudson and denied a relationship between exposure to PCBs and cancer. The company has had success in creating opposition to dredging by bankrolling PR and ad campaigns. However, McCauley says, GE could get a big image boost "if Welch switched course and said: 'GE wants to be the country's No. 1 environmental citizen. We will dredge the Hudson River.'"
Scientists and experts who advise the Environmental Protection Agency on a broad range of regulations governing toxic chemicals and air and water quality frequently have ties to the affected industries or other conflicts of interest, according to a new government study.
An timber-industry sponsored children's book has been modeled on Dr. Seuss's "Lorax." The book, titled "Truax," by Terri Birkett was funded by the Hardwood Forest Foundation and the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association. Four hundred thousand copies of "Truax " have been distributed to elementary schools nationwide.
A new UK environmental group called the Scientific Alliance has formed "in response to the growing concern that the debate on the environment has been distorted by extreme pressure groups," reports The Guardian.
Pacific Lumber Co. announced it had been blessed by the American Forest & Paper Assn's "Sustainable Forestry Initiative" (SFI). Conservationists questioned Pacific Lumber's claims of sustainability, saying it reveals SFI to be little more than greenwashing. "To call Pacific Lumber's ongoing liquidation of ancient forests 'sustainable' exposes the self-serving nature of this program," commented Paul Mason of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is the timber industry's program for certifying sustainably managed forests.
The polluter-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is using the upcoming Stossel report to escalate its attack on public funding of environmental education. CEI notes that "ABC News is airing a John Stossel special this Friday, June 29, exposing some of the liberal indoctrination children receive in the classroom under the guise of environmental education."
Fenton Communications is helping the Rainforest Action Network respond to a conservative non-profit group's claims that RAN illegally uses tax-deductible donations to fund its advocacy campaigns. In a move that could begin what the Wall Street Journal called a "war of the non-profits," Washington, D.C.-based Frontiers of Freedom, which bills itself the "antithesis" of the green movement, has urged the Internal Revenue Service to revoke RAN's tax-exempt status.
The conservative Frontiers of Freedom Institute has petitioned the Internal Revenue Service to rescind nonprofit status for the San Francisco environmental group Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The Arlington, VA-based research and education group--funded by the John M. Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and other right-wing foundations--has condemned RAN for being "fundamentally radical, anti-capitalist and lawless." Environmentalists worry this may have a chilling effect on activist organizations.