MAC: Mines and Communities

US Update

Published by MAC on 2006-09-08

US Update

8th September 2006

While railing against terrorism and calling for the severest penalties against civil law breakers, George Bush has overseen a dramatic drop (more than 50%) over the past five years in federal prosecutions for breach of environmental laws. The number of civil suits has gone down even more.

The EPA is responsible for much of this dereliction. Even though its backing an ongoing federal case to enforce clean air legislation against Duke Energy, the world's biggest environmental protection agency is lending support to "reforms" that, say critics, will allow power utilities to avoid installing up-to-date pollution controls.

While California's Republican governer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, last week hit the headlines with an averred plan to make his state "climate friendly", less attention has been paid to some 300 US cities that have pledge to observe the terms of the Kyoto Treaty.

New research from Alaska and northern Canada suggests that, as nothern peatlands dry up, doubtless due to global climate change, so fifteen (sic) times more mercury is being spewed into the atmosphere than was previously estimated.

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