What do Stockton, California, and Cochabamba, Bolivia, have in common, asks
Ruth Caplan, chair of the Club’s Water Privatization Task Force. You can find
out in the new documentary film Thirst, by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, which
will be shown on PBS this summer. Stockton turned over the operation of its formerly
public water and sewer system to German transnational RWE; the Sierra Club has
joined a lawsuit to reverse the decision. "Water is part of the public commons," says
Caplan, "not something corporations should be profiting from." To
find out more, go to sierraclub.org/water.
More Jobs to the Gallon:
Club, UAW Blast Administration Fuel Economy Plan
United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger and Sierra Club Executive
Director Carl Pope co-wrote a New York Times op-ed in February, blasting
the Bush administration’s
plan to change rules on fuel economy, which would effectively waste more oil
and cost more jobs. The plan would scrap company-wide fuel economy averages,
thus allowing auto companies to shift jobs and the production of smaller, less
profitable cars overseas. Significantly, the op-ed was followed by a news story
about the "unlikely" Club-UAW collaboration, and followed again
a few days later by a favorable Times editorial about the op-ed.
Know a Club member who deserves national recognition for his or her work?
Nominating your local hero for one of the the Sierra Club’s 22 national awards is
easy. Go to sierraclub.org/awards. Deadline is June 1. Awards will be presented
at the Club’s annual meeting in September in San Francisco.
| Rufus Kinney
Last summer, despite a protracted campaign by the Sierra Club and allies, the
Army began burning chemical weapons at its plant in Anniston, Alabama. In February,
when the Club’s board of directors met in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it called
on the Army to halt the burning. In a recent incident, two incinerator workers
were exposed to deadly sarin gas, and operations have been repeatedly shut down
due to problems. Club leader and Anniston resident Rufus Kinney, at right, says
that 75,000 residents live in the "impact zone" of the Anniston facility. "The
least the Army can do is use the best technology out there to protect us," he
says, noting that a safer alternative called neutralization is used at other
Polluters Pay? Nope—Taxpayers Do.
On March 8, the EPA proposed adding 11 sites to the Superfund list—a group
of more than 1,200 toxic waste sites around the country slated for clean up.
Despite the additions, the Bush administration has proposed sites for the Superfund
program at a much slower rate than previous administrations, and has abandoned
the "polluter pays" principle whereby the cleanup costs are mostly
paid by polluting corporations. Now taxpayers foot the entire bill. Read
about how the EPA has misrepresented this issue at: sierraclub.org/toxics/factsheets/cleanups.pdf.
Forests Service Spin
In an unusual move, the U.S. Forest Service hired a PR firm to help
sell its controversial logging plan for Californiaís Sierra Nevada national forests,
which would triple commercial timber harvest in the forests. The Forest Service
kept this PR arrangement secret because, according to a leaked document, "members
of the public who are not professionals in public relations and marketing might
misinterpret certain ideas of concepts." Well, yeah, like that
maybe tripling logging is not the way to protect old-growth forests.
go to sierraclub.org/forests.
Up to Top