EPA names t.e.j.a.s. to address environmental justice in Houston

Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy ServicesThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.) was selected as a grant recipient to address environmental justice (EJ) issues in the Manchester area of Houston. The grant enables the organization to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority communities overburdened by harmful pollution.“These grants empower communities to implement environmental protection projects locally,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “By working directly with communities that are affected, we can accomplish more to reduce environmental harm.”

The secret life of GM sweet corn

Monsanto’s new GM sweet corn is either a boon to farmers that will help them feed the planet or an ominous new edible in a line up of genetically modified foods that consumers are being force fed. Actually, it could be both, or parts of each. We don’t really know, because there’s not a lot of information on GM sweet corn, or maybe there’s enough information. Take a ride with us through the corn maze to try to find out.

A Greener America: The next four years, the next first steps

By Barbara Kessler

The cork is off the champagne on the presidential election – and many environmentalists who’ve felt stifled by the Bush Administration’s indifference, hostility or lukewarm interest in ecological issues, including global warming, are giddy with new possibilities.

Frances Beinecke, head of the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council, sounded buoyant in an address on the NRDC website: “Barack Obama’s election is a huge win for everyone exhausted from playing defense. Count us among them. It rekindles our hope that environmental protection may be restored to its rightful place as a treasured American value.”

Gene Karpinski, head of the League of Conservation Voters, was no less ebullient. “America embraced change today. And the planet will be better for it,” he announced.

Karpinski noted that, along with Obama, the nation also elected some environmental-minded senators, such as cousins Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), from a family with a long conservation history.

Green vs. green

By Barbara Kessler

Disturbing reports haunt the news lately, suggesting that the faltering U.S. economy could stall environmental progress or even force a digression on climate change programs.

Two U.S. wind energy companies and several corn ethanol projects have been delayed for lack of financing, The New York Times reported this week in “Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds“.

A similarly upbeat piece “Environment will wither whoever wins US election” from The Times in London, notes that “environmental groups are already bracing themselves for delays or disappointment on action to tackle global warming”. The article postulates that post-election political leaders will face opposition to environmental programs from job-starved states in the Rust Belt reliant on coal and other heavy industry. American’s immediate need for cold green cash, it warns, could trump green growth.