Environment

EPA Budget Cuts Threaten Enforcement / Lawsuits

The EPA's budget for library services, that is libraries that the public can access to do research about environmental issues, is being cut by $2 million for the 2007 fiscal year. EPA deputy press secretary, Jessica Emond, states that that leaves $4.5 million in the budget. So, in an age of congress calling any budgetary growth less that the rate of inflation a "cut", this actual drop of 30.7% is a significant story. Especially when you consider that the overall EPA budget is nearly $7 billion.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsiblity have an explaination as to what this all means:

Prosecution of polluters by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “will be compromised” due to the loss of “timely, correct and accessible” information from the agency’s closure of its network of technical libraries. EPA enforcement staff currently rely upon the libraries to obtain technical information to support pollution prosecutions and to track the business histories of regulated industries.

Understanding The Demise Of The Electric Car

"Who Killed The Electric Car?" asks Chris Paine in his recently released documentary of the same name. The documentary ultimately lays the blame at the feet of several people/organizations. This commentary from CNN provides a nice recap of the film and the issues it raises. For the most part, the motives of the parties involved are clear. The most difficult to understand, however, is the automakers themselves. The movie makes the case for their motives but never really spells them out. Here's the reasoning that I inferred from the evidence presented/hinted at:

  • mandate - the companies were annoyed at being told they must sell these cars.
  • profit - they never saw enough demand to allow them to go into mass production.
  • maintenance - the cars required so little maintenance that the manufacturers and dealers saw no hope of making money from the service/parts side of the business.
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