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The Planet
Frontburner

Sierra Club To Sue Ethanol Plants | Big Money=Big Problem | 'SUBs' on the Rise

Sierra Club To Sue Ethanol Plants

As Congress shapes an energy bill that would provide $5 billion in subsidies for the ethanol industry, the Sierra Club has announced its intention to sue two ethanol facilities for violations of the Clean Air Act. Recent emissions tests revealed that most ethanol facilities violate the law. But rather than fining the polluters, the EPA first sent a letter to ethanol producers offering to work with them to resolve the violations "on terms most favorable to industry," and then began entering into agreements to carry out this promise. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org/planet/redirect/ethanol.

Big Money=Big Problem

When 89 percent of Americans favor requiring automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars, and 62 percent of our senators vote against such a requirement, it begs the question: How much influence does corporate money have on politics? A lot, says Mark Green, public interest activist and author of a new book, Selling Out: How Big Corporate Money Buys Elections, Rams Through Legislation, and Betrays our Democracy. Green exposes how special-interest dollars have infiltrated the political process and suggests ways to reclaim our democracy. Read an interview with Green at www.sierraclub.org/currents/mark_green.asp.

'SUBs' on the Rise

Yes, it's discouraging that Americans are buying more SUVs and light trucks than passenger cars, and the trend toward less fuel-efficient vehicles continues unabated. But the humble bicycle is on the rise. Worldwide, more than 100 million bicycles were manufactured in 2000, more than double the 41 million cars produced. In the United States, 20 percent of the 17 million bicycles sold last year were so-called "comfort bikes"-also called SUBs, or sport-utility bicycles, built for commuting and short trips. To read more good news about bikes, visit www.sierraclub.org/currents/bike_news.asp.


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