The Invasive Species Threatening Our Entire Ecosystem

The Invasive Species Threatening Our Entire Ecosystem

In Pittsburgh, where I worked for two months in 1986, I breathed clean air. The steel mills along the rivers leading into town were mottled with rust. The Steelers still played in Three Rivers Stadium in those days, but it was the glass towers of PPG Plaza —...
Will the Oil Market Drown in Its Own Supply?

Will the Oil Market Drown in Its Own Supply?

With oil cheaper than bottled water, the average American driver saved $540 at the pump last year. But oil prices are also battering Alaska’s economy, rattling the stock market, and leaving thousands of workers in states like North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas jobless....
We’re Not Broke

We’re Not Broke

An overhaul of U.S. spending priorities is both long overdue and necessary to curb deficit growth. Yet there is no reason to accept the demands from conservative leaders and corporate lobbyists for the ill-timed belt-tightening and reductions in earned benefits like...
The Koch Brothers’ Moonshine

The Koch Brothers’ Moonshine

What do you call a mix of “black liquor,” biofuels, diesel, and a generous splash of tax subsidies? If you have Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho shake this cocktail vigorously and serve it in a golden goblet provided by corporate lobbyists, I’ve got the...
Fracking Exports

Fracking Exports

In recent years, the natural gas industry has plunged deeper and deeper into the reckless practice of “fracking,” putting communities nationwide at risk of dirty, dangerous pollution and practices that are exempt from many clean air and water laws. Now gas...
We Can’t Put a Price on Nature

We Can’t Put a Price on Nature

A group of international scientists says that the earth is dangerously close to its tipping point of irreversible damage. Clearly, we need a way out of the mess we’ve made of the planet. The so-called “green economy,” which governments, business...
The Elephant in Rio

The Elephant in Rio

A close friend of mine in Fairfax, Virginia, is expecting her first child. By the time this baby girl turns 60, she’ll live in a world that’s warmer than it’s ever been since humans began walking the Earth 2.5 million years ago, according to a new...
Clearing the Air

Clearing the Air

Here’s some good news: the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that would make coal-fired power plant operators clean up their act. It would block up to 123 billion pounds of carbon pollution annually from entering our skies by limiting...
Two Heads Aren’t Always Better than One

Two Heads Aren’t Always Better than One

The corporate propensity for rationalizing the irrational in the pursuit of profit appears to be boundless. Consider J.R. Simplot, a giant agribusiness conglomerate whose phosphate mining operations in Idaho have grossly polluted creeks with selenium, a highly toxic...
Fracking Perils

Fracking Perils

Folks, I’ve got some good news and some bad news about the nation’s ever-elusive quest for a sound energy policy. The good news: Finally there’s some under-the-radar bipartisan consensus in Washington. The bad news: Both parties are dead wrong. This...
America Is Not Broke

America Is Not Broke

A misplaced obsession with our national debt and austerity has overtaken the national debate on the economy, with a resounding call to slash government spending to balance the budget. Some lawmakers are asserting that the country is broke, that we must tighten our...
Big Oil: $135 Million — School Children: 0

Big Oil: $135 Million — School Children: 0

When is it not enough to have too much? Apparently, when you’re a giant oil corporation. Big Oil’s avaricious honchos are always searching for another dime they can slip into their corporate pockets, no matter whom it hurts. A crude example of their...
Power Plays

Power Plays

Flip on that switch, Who cares the source; We’ll get gouged For it, of course. Energy production is too vital to be left to private industry’s tender mercies. Therefore, sensible nations run that sector of the economy themselves. Unfortunately, there...