August 1, 2002
The Green Holocaust Files #8: Earth Survival At Stake
More grisly information, especially about the vanishing rain forests and the nuclear waste nightmare, and some bright spots of hope, plus an action you can take to stop the World Bank from financing the destruction (development!) of rain forests.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
- Buckminster Fuller
1. Confronting the Nuclear Nightmare
2. Teak poachers are killing off great forests of Indonesia
3. Official locked horns with big timber and lost
4. World Bank to Resume Financing of Rainforest Destruction
5. LET THEM EAT CARBON
6. Bush Slashing Aid for E.P.A. Cleanup at 33 Toxic Sites
The White House Effect -- a cartoon by Suzy Becker
CORPORATE-FREE UN: The Globalization Decade (07/24/2002)
An overview of the political, environmental and economic context in the 10 years between the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and the upcoming Summit in Johannesburg. Excerpted from the book "Earth Summit.biz"
EarthSummit.biz: Partnership * Planet * Profit
CorpWatch's new sister site is home of the Green Oscars -- prestigious awards that recognize the achievements of business and industry in sustainable development.
Confronting the Nuclear Nightmare
NOTE FROM JEAN: After reading in the July's issue of National Geographic "Nuclear Waste - Seeking Solutions" I found it important to feature some material from it here...
"Americas Nuclear Waste The production of nuclear power in the United States has resulted in a staggering amount of lethal waste. Despite the cleanup of many smaller sites, a mind-boggling amount of nuclear waste awaits safe disposal. What are your concerns about nuclear waste?"
Check their info at http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0207/feature1/index.html
HERE IS AN EXCERPT:
The search for permanent solutions heats up as tons of highly radioactive sludge, spent fuel, and contaminated soil pile up around the nation.
World War II was still being fought in the Pacific during the first week of August 1945, a time when my father and I were vacationing in Atlantic City, New Jersey, eating soft-shell crabs and lazing by the ocean. In a games arcade I fed nickels to a toy machine gun and fired at Japanese Zero fighters flitting across a screen. On the boardwalk, rifles shouldered, platoons of United States soldiers marched and sang: The Stars and Stripes will fly over Tokyo, Fly over Tokyo, fly over Tokyo, The Stars and Stripes will fly over Tokyo, When the 991st gets there. . . .
One morning my dad showed me a newspaper with red headlines that said a huge bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, and Japan surrendered. The bombs were so big that the boys of the 991st wouldnt have to go to Tokyo after all.
The strong nuclear force, the binding energy that makes atomic nuclei the most tightfisted entities in all creation, had been sundered, unleashing enormous powerthe equivalent of 15,000 tons (13,600 metric tons) of TNT in the Hiroshima bombas well as a race to create bigger weapons. Seven years later our first hydrogen device, code-named Mike, yielded a blast equal to 10.4 million tons (9.4 million metric tons) of TNT. Mike would have leveled all five boroughs of New York City.
By the mid-1960s, the height of the Cold War, the U.S. had stockpiled around 32,000 nuclear warheads, as well as mountains of radioactive garbage from the production of plutonium for these weapons. Just one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of plutonium required around a thousand tons of uranium ore. Generated from uranium bombarded by neutrons in a nuclear reactor, the plutonium was later separated from the uranium in hellish baths of acids and solvents still awaiting disposal.
A long deferred cleanup is now under way at 114 of the nations nuclear facilities, which encompass an acreage equivalent to Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Many smaller sites, the easy ones, have been cleansed, but the big challenges remain. Whats to be done with 52,000 tons (47,000 metric tons) of dangerously radioactive spent fuel from commercial and defense nuclear reactors? With 91 million gallons (345 million liters) of high-level waste left over from plutonium processing, scores of tons of plutonium, more than half a million tons of depleted uranium, millions of cubic feet of contaminated tools, metal scraps, clothing, oils, solvents, and other waste? And with some 265 million tons (240 million metric tons) of tailings from milling uranium oreless than half stabilizedlittering landscapes?
Get the whole story in the pages of National Geographic magazine.
Originally from http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP -Yucca-Mountain-Reax.html
Nevada Vows to Continue Nukes Fight (9 July, 2002)
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- After a 20-year losing battle to stop the government from burying the nation's nuclear waste in Nevada, opponents of the Yucca Mountain project promised Tuesday to press on. Others said it was time to give up and bargain. (...) The first shipments from 39 states are due to begin arriving in 2010. The site is being designed to house 77,000 tons of spent commercial, industrial and military nuclear fuel. The material will remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years. CLIP
Nuclear Waste, Terror And Intrigue - The Industry That Promised Energy
No one has solved the nuclear industry's most intractable problem: how to safely dispose of the 40,000 metric tons of highly-radioactive wastes the industry has produced to date, nor the estimated 65,000 tons that will soon come. (...) Even under the most optimistic forecasts, Yucca won't be ready to accept waste until 2010. Critics think 2015 or 2020 is more realistic. Transporting tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel to Yucca raises an unprecedented nuclear safety challenge. The wastes have to be transported by barge, truck, and train from nearly 100 locations, most of them more than 1,000 miles from Yucca Mountain. Given the possibility of transportation accidents or terrorist attack, anti-nuclear activists have dubbed them "mobile Chernobyls." But even if Yucca is approved, built, and safely filled with nuclear waste, the industry's waste problem will still remain unsolved. Yucca Mountain will have a maximum capacity of 77,000 tons of high-level waste. Even if no new nuclear plants are built, existing plants will produce about 105,000 metric tons of wastes by the end of their lifetimes, according to DOE's Allen Benson. They will produce even more if, as the Bush administration has proposed, reactors receive extensions of their operating licenses. The industry is pushing hard for a new generation of nuclear power stations, highlighting their alleged environmental benefits. The industry association touts nuclear as "the clean air energy" because it doesn't contribute to global warming, acid rain, or smog. Their friends in the White House are helping; the president's energy policy calls for constructing new nuclear plants and extending the lives of those still in operation. But in Maine, and around the nation, indulging in a new generation of nuclear reactors seems unwise when the hangover from the first round hasn't passed. "Before we even talk about additional nuclear power plants this issue needs to be solved," says Wiscasset's state senator Marge Kilkelly. "This is an issue that we're leaving to our kids and grandkids, and simply adding more to it is giving them an outrageous burden." Published: Jun 25 2002
Mobile Chernobyl? MapScience.org Tracks Nuclear Waste Through Everytown, USA
If Yucca Mountain opens as scheduled, 77,000 tons of waste must travel American highways or railroads to get there. The potential for a serious accident has opponents calling the transport plan "Mobile Chernobyl."
Yucca Mountain Project
The Department of Energys website for Yucca Mountain presents the final environmental impact statement, a timeline for opening the repository, and a breakdown of how much money has been spent so far investigating the site.
U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
Read more from the presidentially appointed watchdog group: who their members are and what their opinions are regarding Yucca Mountain.
State of Nevada
Get the latest on what Nevada officials have said about the U.S. governments plans to store nuclear waste in their state. This site also includes maps of the transportation corridors that Yucca-bound waste will follow as well as numerous links to opposition organizations.
Nuclear Energy Institute
Find out how nuclear power works from an organization that advocates its use.
Natural Resources Defense Council
This site is a useful source for finding facts and figures on the number of warheads in various nations. It also includes a detailed history of the organizations efforts to eliminate nuclear energy.
Sent by Coeta Mills <CoetaMills@aol.com>
From: "Jennifer Krill" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002
Teak poachers are killing off great forests of Indonesia
July 06, 2001
BANGSRI, Indonesia - The last of central Java's great teakwood forests ends up in places like this, a place filled with the whine of buzz saws and the burr of electric sanders, a place like Abdul Jambari's garden-furniture workshop.
"This is for export," Jambari says, stroking the finely polished arm of an auburn-grained folding chair. "It's the best teak, what we call class A." And because his order book is full, a month or two from now, for about $100, Jambari's chair will sit on a patio or deck somewhere in the United States or Europe.
But that chair and the 4,000 others that are part of Jambari's latest export shipment have left behind a swath of utter devastation, one of thousands that afflict this archipelago and spell the end of the majestic forests that once blanketed Indonesia. Their disappearance also means the extinction of innumerable animal and plant species indigenous to this country.
"We are facing a cataclysm," said Togu Manurung, the director of Forest Watch Indonesia, an environmental organization. The tropical forests of Indonesia, one-tenth of the world's total, have fallen victim in part to the virtual collapse of political authority in this southeast Asian nation of a thousand islands and more than 200 million people. The toppling three years ago of the regime of President Suharto, a close U.S. ally whose three-decade rule often ruthlessly imposed order, has been followed by widespread violent upheaval, including multiple secessionist movements. In this chaotic atmosphere, illegal logging has gone unchecked.
In an unpublished report, the World Bank found that all the lowland forests in one of the country's largest islands, Sumatra ("forest that is usually the richest source of timber and which carries the highest biodiversity") will be extinct before 2005, and in Kalimantan, the island formerly known as Borneo, by 2010. Swamp forests, according to the report, will disappear five years later. In the past decade, the rate of Indonesia's deforestation has accelerated from 2.47 million acres annually, to 4.2 million acres.
Based on an analysis of satellite photos of Indonesia's forests, the report, written by Derek Holmes, a consultant to the World Bank, contends that unless the government acts immediately to stop rampant illegal logging, "the only extensive forests that will remain in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi in the second decade of the new millennium will be the low-stature forests of the mountains."
For people like Manurung, there is little evidence that the government, in disarray over the impending impeachment of President Abdurrahman Wahid and beset by waves of bloody sectarian and ethnic conflict, is capable of slowing the destruction of the forests.
"Illegal logging is going on everywhere," he said. "Lots of people are involved. Lots of these people have connections - high-ranking officials, members of parliament, the army, police, local officials."
Even national parks are being logged at a frenetic pace. On Kalimantan, the Tanjung Puting National Park, designated by the United Nations as a "Biosphere Reserve," a term bestowed on lands of exceptional plant and animal diversity, is being systematically and illegally logged, according to reports by Forest Watch and another environmental group, Telepak Indonesia, as well as Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops.
Suripto, the former secretary general of the forestry ministry (like many Indonesians, he goes by only one name) charged last year that lumber companies and sawmills owned by a member of parliament were illegally processing ramin logs, the most valuable tree in the national park whose blond, straight-grained wood is used extensively in furniture, wood moldings, blinds and pool cues. Despite his findings, which followed an extensive investigation, the logging has continued and the member of parliament, Abdul Raysid, remains untouched by the law. He did not respond to repeated messages left at his office at the Tanjung Lingga Group, his logging and lumber-processing company.
So extensive is Raysid's influence in the area that the first chairman of a commission intended to oversee the management and conservation of the Tanjung Puting National Park was Raysid's brother.
"You must understand that people like Raysid are like Robin Hood in their localities," said Manurung, of Forest Watch. "They put a lot of money into their communities, and they have a lot of support from local people. So when government investigators, or investigators from groups like ours, go to the park to check on logging, there are gangs that try to intimidate us. Some people have been beaten up."
Most of the timber plundered from the national park and from Indonesia's other forests winds up in China or Europe, as well as the United States, according to environmental groups here.
In Bangsri, a nub of land protruding from the northern rim of central Java, local officials maintain that a breakdown of law and authority has fueled the surge in illegal logging, and with it, the end of the forests here. A battered two-lane macadam road meanders over hills and into valleys, past scrub land, tentative fields of corn and vast scars of rust-colored earth. Everywhere, stumps of what were once towering teak trees pepper the landscape.
"In 1999, this was all forest," said Rahmat Wijaya, the district manager for the state logging company, Perhutani, his hand sweeping across a barren vista stretching toward distant hills. "That year, thousands of people came and cut down the trees, local people and people from outside, both. The last tree was taken in November 2000. There was nothing we could do."
Private logging was not permitted in Bangsri, Wijaya said, only managed logging by the state company. But Suharto was compelled by mass protests to step down in May 1998, and with him went the authoritarian regime that had kept everyone in line. Under Suharto, logging was big business, but it was a business confined to the president's cronies, particularly Mohamad "Bob" Hasan, who was granted the most extensive logging concessions in the country. Hasan is now in prison for corruption, and the collapse of the Suharto regime was soon followed by a huge upsurge in illegal logging.
In one field, Wijaya pointed to motley rows of 4-foot-high broad-leaf teak saplings. "We have never tried to replant teak trees before," he explained, "but we are trying now. This is the first time. It takes 60 years to grow a teak tree. I will not be here when these are grown, if they survive."
Not far from where the teak forests used to be, H.M. Sugito sat, somewhat disconsolately, on a massive mahogany log at his lumber yard. "It's true," he said, surveying piles of teak logs and a scattering of 8-footlong mahogany tree trunks. "We have no more forests here. They're all gone. So now, I have to get my logs from elsewhere, from other places in Indonesia."
Asked if the teak logs in his roadside yard were legally cut, he shrugged. "When people bring logs here, we buy them," he said, a price list for his logs dangling from his fingers. "Why ask questions?"
At his yard, a teak log slightly over 6 feetlong and a foot in diameter sells for $290; the huge mahogany logs, 8 feetlong and nearly 3 feet in width, go for $445.
To Manurung of Forest Watch, such practices explain why his country's forests are vanishing. "You have to remember that the total capacity of the wood-processing industry and the pulp and paper processing industry is 80 million cubic meters," said. "Legal logging produces 17 million cubic meters. So you can see that there is a huge gap between supply and demand. And that gap is made up from illegal logging."
Also sent by Coeta Mills <CoetaMills@aol.com>
Official locked horns with big timber and lost
July 06, 2001
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Suripto's troubles began after he compiled a report accusing Indonesia's largest timber conglomerate of "under-reporting" the kind of deliberate forest fires that threaten to smother Southeast Asia under another blanket of haze this summer.
After submitting his report, Suripto was fired as secretary general of Indonesia's Forestry Department. Worse, he was arrested and held for 24 hours. Now he is charged with revealing state secrets.
All Suripto intended, he says, was to crush the huge timber companies that operate like organized-crime syndicates systematically destroying Indonesia's vast, resource-rich rain forests. On top of that, he alleges, the very people supposed to protect the forests - police, army and politicians - are involved in lucrative but illicit logging and plantation projects.
Suripto is not the first to fall in sporadic efforts by crusaders to curb the rape of one of Earth's last natural parks, endowed with rare wildlife, perhaps the most famous being the orangutan.
In response to vocal international protests, Baharuddin Lopa, Indonesia's minister for law and human rights, recently announced that the government is organizing yet another "police and army" crusade to stop illegal logging. He said Indonesia is losing $4 billion as the result of illicit timber activities.
Previous crusades have not been effective. Environmentalists describe them as publicity stunts. Thugs attached to illegal logging operations make short shrift with those who interfere.
The frenzy to clear forest land, by large companies as well as small-time squatters, was at its worst in 1997 when 250,000 acres of forest were burning. The billowing clouds of smoke blocked out the sun for weeks as far as Manila and up the Gulf of Thailan.
Instead of wasting time with the tentacles of the legal and illegal timber industry, Suripto went for the leader of the pack, Baripto Pasific Timber and its four subsidiaries that dominate Indonesia's lucrative timber industry.
Their owner is ethnic Chinese billionaire Prajogo Pangestu, a Suharto crony believed to be living in Boston.
Suripto's zeal may have been his undoing. Certain government officials argue that going after Pangestu might send the wrong signal to other ethnic Chinese tycoons who have invested most of their money abroad and are being courted to bring it back into Indonesia, a country badly in need of funds.
Suripto formerly was second in charge at the government intelligence agency BAKIN. He was a key witness in the trial of Indonesian Mohamad "Bob" Hasan, another timber king now serving a 12-year jail sentence for fraud. In his forestry report, which has since vanished into the corridors of the government, Suripto compiled data he says show the timber conglomerate was vastly overstating the land it was reforesting. The companies thus obtained millions of dollars in government and international funds for reforestation projects on the very land they cleared to sell the timber - a double profit whammy.
Baripto Pasific Timber also failed to pay about $300 million in taxes that are calculated on the amount of timber logged. The scam was to declare fewer logs. Local politicians, the army and police turned a blind eye or were paid off.
Ever since Suripto's firing, rumors have circulated that he and a former forestry official, also dismissed, were fired because of their own involvement in illicit logging allegedly masterminded by the army.
Old Growth Campaigner
Rainforest Action Network
415/398-4404 x. 328
Sent by "Raphael Diaz" <email@example.com> on Wed, 31 Jul 2002
World Bank to Resume Financing of Rainforest Destruction
July 2002, By Forests.org, Inc., http://forests.org/
TAKE ACTION: http://forests.org/emailaction/bank.htm
The World Bank has released its long awaited draft policy on forests. The proposed policy threatens most of the world's remaining forests with environmentally damaging industrial forest management financed by taxpayers through the World Bank. It severely weakens the existing Operational (OP) Policy on Forests of 1993. Environmental group pressure led to the current policy that bans Bank funding of logging in primary moist tropical forests. Over the past several years, the World Bank has aggressively sought to resume financing of "sustainable forest management" activities in the World's dwindling primary forests, particularly in the tropics. This would require revision of the Bank's existing forest policy.
The proposed new policy opens the door to financing of large scale timber export and carbon sequestration projects, emphasizing market forces and marketing arrangements to address deforestation. However, there is no evidence that commercial scaled sustainable forest management can be effective in promoting environmentally sound and socially equitable development. The Bank's new proposed policy fails to address the powerful forces of globalization and economic liberalization, as well as poor governance, the main causes of deforestation according to the World Bank itself.
The Bank has spearheaded failed tropical timber industry reform efforts for over a decade; failing miserably to reform commercial logging in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, Cameroon and elsewhere. The Bank's forest conservation policy approach continues to be based upon the false premise that commercial logging in primary forests is ecologically sustainable. This is patently false. Turning the Bank loose to "integrate forests into sustainable economic development" will guarantee the demise of the World's remaining large natural primary and old-growth forests. The Bank seeks to sustain foreign exchange revenues and timber yields rather than natural ecological processes and patterns.
The proposed policy allows extractive investments by the Bank in all types of forests except those Bank bureaucrats deem to be "critical forests". Participatory mechanisms to define such forests are not part of the plan. Instead of proposing clear and strong new safeguards to protect the world's forests, the proposed policy refers to seven other existing World Bank 'Safeguard Policies' as a means to protect ecosystems and livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples.
The draft policy was developed through years of consultation with others. Yet the result flies in the face of demands of civil society and ignores most of the advice given to the Bank by its own Technical Advisory Group. It appears the Bank carried out a very costly and time-consuming exercise to justify the adoption of a policy that had already been decided upon beforehand.
The proposed policy shows little potential to promote forest conservation. Any revision of the Bank's current forest policy must not allow any financing of commercial scale logging or forest management in any of the World's remaining primary forests. The Bank needs binding policy for each sector (i.e. roads, agricultural plantations, mining, etc.) in regards to forest conservation. The Bank's structural adjustment lending must be reformed to eliminate massive negative impacts upon forests and other ecosystems. Please edit and send the following letter at:
Dear Mr. Wolfensohn and World Bank Board members,
I am writing to strongly condemn the World Bank's current draft operational policy (OP) on Forests. The policy mistakenly emphasizes large-scale commercial development of primary and other forests as a means to achieve forest conservation and poverty alleviation. The Bank President and Board have been poorly served by their advisors: at this critical juncture in global forest conservation, there is no justification for Bank subsidies for rainforest destruction.
The draft OP is a non-policy in that it relies on other existing or future World Bank policies to address the most critical issues pertaining to the world's forests and their peoples. It fails to represent a safeguard policy in any meaningful sense. The draft OP ignores the findings of the Bank's Operations Evaluation Department (OED) as well as inputs received during the lengthy public consultation process. The current policy is seriously flawed for the following reasons:
1) Industrial Logging - the draft OP lifts the ban on direct investment in large-scale industrial logging which is a central feature of the 1993 Forest Policy. According to the draft OP, Bank investments in industrial forestry will halt destructive practices. There is no evidence that large-scale logging particularly in primary forests - can be conducted in an environmentally sustainable and socially beneficial manner. Little emphasis is given to community-based and other smaller-scale eco-forestry management initiatives, which would not require a change of the 1993 Forest Policy.
2) Structural Adjustment the policy fails to address the critical issue of how such lending impacts forests. Causes of deforestation that lie outside the forest sector such as poorly conceived economic policies, Bank sectoral lending and poor governance practices are ignored by the draft OP.
3) Protection of Forest Ecosystems - the draft OP does not protect forests, relying instead on the Bank's Operational Policy on Natural Habitats (OP 4.04) whose effectiveness has never been evaluated. Global ecological sustainability requires that most of the World's remaining primary forests are strictly protected or managed by local peoples using certified eco-forestry practices.
4) Forest-Dependent People - the draft OP does not secure land tenure for indigenous peoples or other forest dependent communities, though problems in this area are a leading cause of forest degradation and deforestation.
5) Applicability of OP to the World Bank Group - one of the central recommendations emerging out of the consultation process was that the Bank's new Forest Policy should also be applicable to IFC and MIGA operations.
The proposed policy will not promote forest conservation. Given serious flaws in the Bank's proposed Forest Policy, I ask that a new draft safeguard policy on forests be prepared in line with recommendations already made by the public and by the Bank's own technical advisors. Resumption of financing of commercial scale logging in any of the World's remaining primary forests must not be allowed. The Bank needs binding policy for each sector in regards to forestry. The Bank's structural adjustment lending must be reformed to eliminate its massive negative impacts upon forests and other ecosystems.
The perception of significant improvements in the Bank's environmental record is threatened by this seriously flawed proposal. It would be a serious error for the Bank to subsidize global forest diminishment and deforestation. I insist that any new Bank policy in regard to forest conservation be limited to forest protection and small-scale eco-forestry, or else leave the current policy in effect. I and others will not tolerate this proposed policy, and will loudly protest its further development and implementation.
This alert is largely based on the Statement released by the World Rainforest Movement, the Forest Peoples Programme and Environmental Defense at:
Glen Barry M.S., Ph.D. (abd)
President Forests.org, Inc.
25 Jul-31 Jul 2002
LET THEM EAT CARBON
The Bush administration has turned its back on climate change. But when the federal government drops the ball, someone else is bound to pick it up: All across the country, concerned Americans are taking action on climate change. In dorm rooms and boardrooms, in city halls and houses of worship, activists are taking it upon themselves to protect the global climate. Come meet the new climate movement in "Power Shift: Looking for Leadership on Climate Change," a special edition of Grist Magazine featuring Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Ellison on grassroots initiatives to combat climate change, Ross Gelbspan on the shortcomings of Beltway green groups, Hal Clifford on the world's highest carbon tax, and more.
Power shift -- looking for leadership on climate change
To subscribe to WEEKLY GRIST, send a blank email message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002
Subject: Bush Slashing Aid for E.P.A. Cleanup at 33 Toxic Sites
The Usurper does "not intend to reauthorize the tax" on businesses wch is how SuperFund has, 'til now, been paid for ...
VI SuperFund site reduced, too ...
"These people have no idea that all the time and energy they put into getting their sites listed and cleaned up has now been discarded because there is no money." (...) the administration was reluctant to release the information on the specific sites because "they know there will be some serious problems with their voters because they will be called to task on this."
Maybe we can help get the word out?
- i -
Bush Slashing Aid for E.P.A. Cleanup at 33 Toxic Sites
WASHINGTON, June 30 - The Bush administration has designated 33 toxic waste sites in 18 states for cuts in financing under the Superfund cleanup program, according to a new report to Congress by the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The cuts, imposed because the cleanup fund is hundreds of millions of dollars short of the amount needed to keep the program on schedule, mean that work is likely to grind to a halt on some of the most seriously polluted sites in the country, confronting the surrounding communities with new uncertainty over when the work will resume, how quickly it will proceed and who will pay for it.
Among the sites that for now would receive less money - in some cases, none - are a manufacturing plant in Edison, N.J., where the herbicide Agent Orange was produced, several chemical plants in Florida and two old mines in Montana. The report to Congress is the first public listing by the environmental agency of where it intends to cut Superfund spending. It was provided to The New York Times by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee who oppose the cuts.
The administration had already indicated it would scale back spending from the special fund that pays for cleaning up sites where the original polluter has gone out of business or is otherwise unable to pay for remediation. The fund has been running out of money since Congress refused several years ago to extend the taxes on industry that had replenished it each year. It once contained billions of dollars from those taxes.
"This is all about government letting corporations get away with things that hurt average Americans and leave taxpayers to foot the bill," Mr. Stoermer. "It's not just about cleaning up toxic waste, it's about fairness and which side are you on."
BACK TO THE FIRST HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE