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SHFT Sampler 3-18-11

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Greenland's shrinking, Brooklyn's getting bike sharing, Rush Limbaugh is still an asshole, and more.

Plant Plastic: Drinking soda is bad for you, yes, but petroleum-based plastic bottles bad for everyone. In 2012, Pepsi will drop the world's first fossil fuel-free plastic bottle, made from 100% plant-based materials like switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. Bike Share, Yo: Inhabitat reports that Brooklyn will join Washington D.C., Boston, Denver, and Minneapolis as the first cities in the......read more

SHFT Sampler 4-8-11

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Group calls for "bird smart" wind power, Senate thwarts anti-EPA bill, Toyota sells a million hybrids in the US, and more.

For the Birds: The American Bird Conservancy posted a video showing a vulture getting taken out by a wind turbine, part of a campaign calling for "bird smart" design of wind power projects. Hmmm. (via Dot Earth) Phew! In a 50-50 vote, the Senate rejected the GOP's attempt to permanently block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Recycled Rug: The recycled ANY rug from the Piadao Group is......read more

EPA Readies Tough New Pollution Rules

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Lisa P. Jackson prepares rigorous environmental regs as presidential campaign gets under way

With a presidential election looming, EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson is hoping for Obama's support as she prepares new regulations on smog, mercury, carbon dioxide, mining waste, and vehicle emissions. The Supreme Court just validated the power of the Agency to control emissions and pollution. According to Jackson, "The only thing worse than no EPA is an EPA that exists and doesn't do its......read more

Obama Bails on Smog Plan

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Bowing to pressure from big business, the President abandons tougher ozone standard

President Obama, under mounting pressure from business groups and Republicans in Congress, has withdrawn a plan to strengthen emissions rules for smog-causing chemicals. The abandoned Environmental Protection Agency standard would have dramatically reduced emissions of ground-level ozone. For American eco advocates, the announcement is salt in a wound opened by a series of White House decisions......read more

Obama's Smog Gaffe

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Why abandoning tighter ozone regs was a bad move -- and what's next?

President Obama's environmental concessions (read: cave-ins) continue to pile up, and American environmentalists are rightly losing faith. His latest retreat, on ozone regulation, comes just days after the State Department gave the go-ahead for the controversial Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Alberta to Texas. The smog announcement was conveniently released on Friday before......read more

EPA Fights Back

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Agency accused of cutting corners on climate change findings

The Obama Administration responded with strong words Wednesday to a Republican-initiated report claiming that the agency should have sought outside scientific review on the human impacts of climate change. The report out of the Office of the Inspector General charged that the Environmental Protection Agency cut corners in concluding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to......read more

Campaign Politics Dictating Obama's Environmental Policy

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Re-election tactics tied to both EPA smog decision and Keystone XL

This just in from the New York Times: Obama's environmental decisions are being driven by electoral politics, not by any sort of clear vision. Shocking news, we know, sorry to upset you. From John Broder's article:  The full retreat on the smog standard was the first and most important environmental decision of the presidential campaign season that is now fully under way. An examination......read more

Help the EPA Chronicle the 'State of the Environment'

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Photo project asks the public to document environmental issues and everyday life

In the 1970s, the EPA asked a group of freelance photographers to document the state of America's environment. Called the Documerica project, the photos are a valuable record of the environmental issues that plagued the US in the years before protective legislation like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. You can see them for yourself on the Documerica Flickr page. Now, almost 40 years......read more

Where Does My Electricity Come From?

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EPA's Power Profiler lets you know how clean your energy is

When you get home and flick the light switch, do you ever wonder where the power comes? Well, I have. Some people who live near a geothermal plant claim their energy is very clean, while others who live near coal plants think the majority of their energy is dirty. Is that actually the case? After some probing, I found the EPA's Power Profiler, which is a great tool that tells you you how......read more

EPA Limits Power Plant Emissions

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Will the first-ever cap on carbon emissions accelerate the demise of coal?

Americans looking to kickstart the shift away from dirty energy scored a big victory this week, as the Environmental Protection Agency proposed limits on heat-trapping pollution from new power plants. The proposed regs would require new plants to emit about 43 percent less carbon dioxide than existing coal-fired generators. "Today we're taking a common-sense step to reduce pollution in our air,......read more

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