In September 2010, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency came to a startling conclusion: Even a small amount of a chemical compound commonly found in tap water may cause cancer.
The compound, hexavalent chromium, gained infamy in the Oscar-winning film Erin Brockovich, based on the David-vs.-Goliath legal duel between desert dwellers in Hinkley, Calif., and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The film ends in Hollywood fashion, with the corporate polluter paying $333 million to people suffering from illnesses.
But in real life, the drama continues. More than 70 million Americans drink traces of chromium every day, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization.
And now, more than a decade after the film, EPA scientists cite “clear evidence” that the chemical compound, also known as chromium (VI), can cause cancer. The federal agency was poised to announce its findings in 2011, a step almost certain to trigger stricter drinking-water standards to prevent new cancers and deaths.
The chemical industry’s trade association and chief lobbyist, the American Chemistry Council, urged the EPA to wait for more research, a common practice to delay action on toxic chemicals. However, Vincent Cogliano, the soft-spoken head of EPA’s chemical-assessment program, rebuffed the powerful group, writing in an April 2011 letter that “strong” new research was already available.
Ten months later, the EPA reversed itself, quietly posting a notice on the Internet that it was pushing back the release of its findings for at least four more years. Environmentalists were stunned at the reason: The agency would wait for the results of new studies costing $4 million and paid for by the American Chemistry Council.
The EPA decided to wait at the urging of a panel of scientists chosen to give an unbiased review of the chromium findings. But the EPA doesn’t vet these scientists directly, instead handing the task over to outside contractors. An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that several of the panelists had worked on behalf of PG&E to defend the company in the Brockovich lawsuits.
President Obama pledged during his 2008 campaign to halt meddling and interference in government science. The president put restoring integrity to science on his short list of priorities in his first inaugural address, right after fixing the economy and before health care reform. “We’ll restore science to its rightful place,” he said.
The story of chromium (VI), full of twists and turns, offers a case study in how the Obama administration has failed to shield science at the EPA from industry influence.
Companies with a stake in chromium have borrowed from the Big Tobacco playbook, using science to create doubt. Ever since the brassy Brockovich knocked on doors in Hinkley to organize a class-action lawsuit, scientists paid by industry have tried to convince the courts and regulators that chromium (VI) poses no health risk.
Read all of this at the Center for Public Integrity.
Go and create your own now to send to your liberal family and friends. Go HERE>
(CNSNews.com) – The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that $1.55 billion in new federal tax dollars will be allocated for the first-ever Hawaiian Transit Rail system on the island of Oahu, which will serve downtown Honolulu, at a total federal and state cost of $5.1 billion.
The train circuit will be 20 miles long, with 21 stops on an island that is 30 miles wide.
The transit system will span from the lesser populated island area of Kapolei, and will end at Ala Moana Center Station, approximately 1-3 miles from the University of Hawaii and Punahou School, the high school once attended by President Obama.
The most recent DOT announcement brings the total amount of federal funds going to the Rail project to just under $1.8 billion. Funding will not been given in a single appropriation, but will instead be doled out in increments over the coming fiscal years.
An additional $4 million has been obligated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “stuimulus”), and $209.9 million is coming from other sources within the DOT. Both the $1.55 billion and the $209.9 million are proposed funding plans, and will be contingent upon future appropriations from Congress.
The $3.358 billion of the project’s $5.1 billion total cost will derive from Hawaiian sources that include but are not limited to excise taxes paid by Oahu businesses and residents, as well as tourists.
Some researchers believe that kissing began millions of years ago as a result of mouth-to-mouth feeding, with mammal mothers chewing food and then “forcing it” into the mouths of their young.
“From these observations, it is claimed that humans also learned kissing from exchanging food between mothers and their offspring,” Texas A&M University anthropologist Vaughn Bryant, who has long researched the history and spread of kissing, told Discovery News.
“However, if this were true and it were innate, then why didn’t all humans kiss? We know that many cultural groups did not kiss and knew nothing about it until they were shown,” Bryant said.
New NRA Ad opposing gun control: “Ask Obama’s Experts”
Ah, America is overrun with anti-American liberals!
Read the report in full here:
A group of students at a California high school basketball game were told to remove patriotic bandanas and stop chanting “USA, USA” because school administrators wanted to be sensitive to other spectators.
The incident occurred during a basketball last week between Camarillo High School and Rio Mesa High School in Ventura County.
A school administrator pulled aside four boys and told them to either remove their American flag bandanas or leave the game. The boys complied but returned to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA, USA.”
Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman told the Ventura County Star that the students were told to remove the bandanas as a “precaution” – because the two schools have “diverse student bodies.”
Both schools have a large Hispanic student population.
Student Austin Medeiros and the other boys were suspended for their actions – but the punishment was later lifted by school officials.
Still, students are upset over what happened and staged a protest at the school’s flagpole by wearing red, white and blue.
“We’ve done it always,” Medeiros told the Ventura County Star. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.”
But Gabe Soumakian, the superintendent of the Oxnard Union School District, told Fox News there were “racial overtones” to the chant — which you can watch at the bottom of the page.
“There was symbolism there with the bandana and the chant,” he said.
“It has nothing to do with being patriotic or unpatriotic,” Soumakian said. “it has to do with the fact that they are making a chant regarding that we are from the USA and you’re not. Whether that’s the implied intent, that’s the way it comes across.”
Soumakian said the “USA” chant does not comply with state athletic guidelines.
“It talks about pursuing victory with honor,” he told Fox News. “You’re supposed to chant for your team.”
As for the principal’s concerns about racial overtones – the superintendent said he had the same fears.
“We wanted to make sure whatever was being cheered was appropriate,” he said. “We are responding to a global issue in terms of how students should be respecting the other school.”
Medeiros, along with many other students, took to Twitter to weigh in on the fall-out.
“I will always be proud of where I come from and what my flag represents,” he tweeted. “No matter what anyone tells me! I stand up for what I believe in!”
The superintendent believes this is a “teachable moment” for the entire school.
“They have to respect everyone,” he said. “When you go to a game – you cheer for your team and you don’t make any derogatory comments or make inappropriate comments toward the other team.”
And while the students involved in the incident said they are very patriotic, the superintendent offered this word of caution:
“We have a very diverse student body in the district,” he said.
And while the punishments were lifted, he said the incident is far from over.
“As a superintendent I think we need to pursue this further,” he said. “We need to work with teachers and students and the community about the concept of cultural proficiency.”
He said cultural proficiency is “understanding how to work, live, be and understand the heritage and be respectful.”
“It’s more than just the tolerance of other ethnic or cultural groups,” he said.
Angry residents are posting their thoughts on social networking sites like YouTube.
That makes me so proud to see young people, especially in California where anti-Americanism is rampant, take pride in their country and show it!
“I am absolutely dumbfounded that these proud American kids were singled out and punished for being patriotic,” one reader wrote. ” If you don’t love this country…get out.”