Tuesday, April 26, 2005

ANWR Facts, More Bush Lies

From BushGreenWatch

Arctic drilling will not reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil
Proponents say that drilling in ANWR will reduce America's dependence on imported oil (a dependence that costs taxpayers billions of dollars to station our military in oil-rich regions such as the Middle East). But the earliest any ANWR oil would reach the lower 48 states would be 10 years, and probably longer, thereby having no impact on America's current problem. Even 20 years from now, when ANWR is expected to reach peak production, it will only supply about 3 percent of U.S. oil consumption at best.

Energy independence can be achieved through improved energy efficiency
An increase in automobile fuel efficiency standards of 3 miles per gallon would save more than 1 million barrels a day. If U.S. standards for replacement tires were upgraded to those for new cars, it would save 7 billion barrels -- same as the most optimistic estimate for ANWR oil.

·Arctic drilling will not reduce oil prices. Even at peak production, the output of oil from the refuge would be too small to affect prices. The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration released a report last year stating that, "Assuming that world oil markets continue to work as they do today, the Organizations of Petroleum Exporting Countries could countermand any potential price impact of ANWR." According to the U.S. Geological Survey there are 3.2 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil in the coastal plain. This means that opening the Arctic Refuge to drilling would only increase global oil reserves by less than seven-tenths of one percent, meaning essentially no effect on world oil production and prices.

Not all ANWR oil is economically viable
Over 7 billion barrels of oil are technically recoverable (if money is not an issue) in the wildlife refuge. The amount that is economically viable is much lower. Another cost problem is transportation of crude oil to the lower 48 states. Western refineries will be at capacity when drilling commences in the refuge. The majority of other refineries are in Texas, meaning the oil would have to be shipped from Alaska down through the Panama Canal back up to Texas. Some experts suggest that this makes the oil more likely to be sold to Asia rather than the U.S.

Investment in renewable energy will provide more jobs
Studies by the Bureau of Labor statistics and the Congressional Research Service predict that 60,000 to 130,000 jobs would be created if the Refuge were opened for drilling. But the Tellus Institute recently reported that investment in renewable energy and improved energy efficiency would create 700,000 jobs by 2010, and 1.3 million by 2020. A World Wildlife study "America's Global Warming Solutions," states that if the proper energy policies were implemented, 900,000 jobs could be created over a 12-year period.

Environmental impact far greater than administration claims
The Bush Administration claims that new advances in technology will minimize the ecological impact of drilling, causing only a 2,000-acre "footprint." The "footprint" includes buildings, pipelines and other related facilities-- but only where they touch ground. In fact, pipelines will cover hundreds of miles of the Refuge, and only their support posts are counted toward the 2,000-acre total. Gravel mines and roads were not counted. There will be airstrips, housing, pumping stations, power plants, power lines, sewage treatment, and waste disposal needed to service the work crews.

The 2,000-acre "footprint" also overlooks seismic or other exploration activities, which degrade the arctic environment, with 64,000-pound exploratory rigs. They can only travel on ice roads, whose longevity has already been reduced by half due to global warming.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that oil and gas deposits are spread throughout the wildlife refuge coastal plain in small pools and pockets, leaving the entire 1.5 million acre area open to leasing and exploration— not just a confined space of 2,000-acres.

All of this, of course, poses an unpredictable threat to the herd of 120,00 porcupine caribout who migrate, forage for food, and calve in the area.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Long Emergency: What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?

There is a must-read the article by JH Kunstler in this months Rolling Stone.

"...No combination of alternative fuels will allow us to run American life the way we have been used to running it, or even a substantial fraction of it. The wonders of steady technological progress achieved through the reign of cheap oil have lulled us into a kind of Jiminy Cricket syndrome, leading many Americans to believe that anything we wish for hard enough will come true. These days, even people who ought to know better are wishing ardently for a seamless transition from fossil fuels to their putative replacements.

The widely touted "hydrogen economy" is a particularly cruel hoax. We are not going to replace the U.S. automobile and truck fleet with vehicles run on fuel cells. For one thing, the current generation of fuel cells is largely designed to run on hydrogen obtained from natural gas. The other way to get hydrogen in the quantities wished for would be electrolysis of water using power from hundreds of nuclear plants. Apart from the dim prospect of our building that many nuclear plants soon enough, there are also numerous severe problems with hydrogen's nature as an element that present forbidding obstacles to its use as a replacement for oil and gas, especially in storage and transport.

Wishful notions about rescuing our way of life with "renewables" are also unrealistic. Solar-electric systems and wind turbines face not only the enormous problem of scale but the fact that the components require substantial amounts of energy to manufacture and the probability that they can't be manufactured at all without the underlying support platform of a fossil-fuel economy. We will surely use solar and wind technology to generate some electricity for a period ahead but probably at a very local and small scale...."

UN Mapping Project Reveals Earth's Best Sites for Wind, Solar Power

Thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy potential in Africa, Asia, South and Central America have been discovered through a multi-million dollar project called the Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA). First results from the project were released Friday at an international meeting of scientists and policymakers organized by UN Environment Programme.

"In developing countries all over the world we have removed some of the uncertainty about the size and intensity of the solar and wind resource," said UNEP Director Toepfer. "These countries need greatly expanded energy services to help in the fight against poverty and to power sustainable development. SWERA offers them the technical and policy assistance to capture the potential that renewable energy can offer," he said.

In Washington, SWERA Project Manager Tom Hamlin said the project is now under evaluation and will be seeking support to service requests from renewable energy programs in other developing countries. "SWERA has clearly demonstrated that the modest of amounts needed to support renewable energy assessments can significantly change the way countries pursue their energy goals," he said.

Established in 2001 with substantial support from the Global Environment Facility, SWERA teams have been developing new information tools to stimulate renewable energy development, including detailed maps of wind and solar resources, using data from satellites and ground-based instruments.

In Nicaragua, SWERA assessments of wind resources demonstrated a much greater potential than the 200 megawatts (MW) estimated in the 1980s. The results prompted the Nicaraguan National Assembly to pass the Decree on Promotion of Wind Energy of Nicaragua 2004 that gives wind generated electricity "first dispatch," meaning it has the first priority over other options when fed into electricity grids. The US Trade and Development Agency and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) have since launched wind energy feasibility studies in Nicaragua, and wind investment projects are now advancing with 40 MW planned in two projects and two more exploration licenses granted. SWERA information is also providing solar resource information for cooperative efforts in Nicaragua between groups such as the World Bank and GEF for projects focused on rural electrification, and 6,000 solar PV systems are being installed in World Bank and IADB rural electrification programs.

In Guatemala, wind estimates were mostly unknown, but wind resources are now estimated at 7,000 megawatts, based on SWERA products. The Guatemala Ministry of Energy has established the Centre for Renewable Energy and Investment to carry out validation studies and identify sites for wind energy development.

In Sri Lanka, the SWERA assessment found a land wind power potential of about 26,000 MW representing, more than 10 times the country's installed electrical capacity.

An initial assessment in Ghana reveals more than 2,000 MW of wind energy potential, mainly along the border with Togo. In Africa, this goes a long way towards the estimated 40,000 MW of electricity needed to power the continent's industrialization.

SWERA's data collection and analysis network of international and national agencies is creating a global archive of solar and wind energy resources and maps that is available on CD-ROM or through the website: http://swera.unep.net.

Another important SWERA tool, the Geospatial Toolkit, allows wind and solar maps to be combined with electrical distribution grids and other information to provide high quality information that supports energy planning and policy development. This tool helps lower the risk for renewable energy project developers and helps reduce project lead times.

The countries where SWERA has carried out surveys to date are: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka.

Courting Armageddon: How the Bush Administration's Biological Weapons Buildup Affects You

There's an excellent article on Common Dreamsthis week.

The United States is the largest manufacturer of weapons of mass destruction. Aside from all the new smart-bomb, non-lethal and lethal extra-special weaponry currently used and developed, US Senate majority leader Bill Frist in January 2005 called for a new Manhattan Project (referring to the WWII-era nuclear weapons bonanza) for biological weapons. It’s terrifying to consider the potential repercussions, both domestic and abroad, of the Bush administration’s coveted new biological-weapons Manhattan Project. Educate yourself on the neo-consertative plans for global domination through military supremacy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Michigan's Governor Granholm Painfully Slow on Mercury Reduction Plan

Lansing—More than halfway through her gubernatorial term, Governor Granholm has yet to follow-through on a campaign pledge made in 2002: to phase-out and eliminate mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

"Every day children are born in Michigan with learning disabilities as a result of mercury pollution, and it has been more than 1000 days since Governor Granholm promised to reduce mercury," said PIRGIM's Kate Madigan. "The longer we delay action, the more children will be unnecessarily exposed to dangerously high levels of mercury."

Governor Granholm convened a mercury work group in July 2003 under the supervision of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), to create a plan for reducing mercury emissions from Michigan's coal-fired power plants. The work group includes electric utilities...(read more) and environmental and conservation groups.

However, the work group is now more than a year late in producing its recommendations. The most recent workgroup deadline was set for April 15, but the workgroup will miss that date with another delay until May 19.

"As a member of the mercury work group, I know that the group could have, and should have, produced recommendations long ago," continued Madigan. "Utilities want to delay this process as long as they can to avoid doing anything to reduce their mercury pollution, just as they have done at the federal level."

Madigan went on to say, "In the process, the utility industry is keeping our state from moving towards new and cleaner technologies, creating new jobs that go along with that, and letting our economy evolve into the 21st century."

Over the past year, Michigan citizens have generated thousands of letters, phone calls, and e-mails to the governor showing their support for 90 percent mercury reductions by the end of the decade. In a September 2004 letter responding to the thousands of public comments in support of reducing mercury, the Governor confirmed that, "The Mercury Utility Task Force has been charged with developing recommendations to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent." The EPA concluded in 2000 that cost-effective technology exists to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2008.

"The children that were in-utero when the Governor made her promise are now starting preschool," said Madigan. "The technology is available today and the costs are minimal to reduce mercury by 90 percent this decade. There is no reason for further delays."

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that causes learning disabilities, developmental delays, lowered IQ, and attention deficits in children, and heart attacks and other problems in adults. EPA scientists estimate that one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her body to put her child at risk, should she become pregnant.

Power plants are the single largest source of U.S. mercury emissions, contributing 41 percent of U.S. mercury emissions. Michigan's power plants emitted 2,714 lbs. of mercury in 2002, and our state has the second worst mercury hotspot in the country. The principal way that people are exposed to mercury is by eating fish. Unfortunately, mercury is so prevalent in Michigan's waterways that the state health department has issued fish consumption advisories for every inland lake in the state.

Under court-appointed deadline, EPA finalized a weak mercury rule on March 15. But the rule discarded Clean Air Act requirements that it regulate mercury according to the maximum extent achievable, and instead established a "cap-and-trade" program for mercury under which power plants will be able to avoid meaningful reductions until 2025. Already, 10 states have decided to challenge the rule in court on the grounds that it does not comply with the Clean Air Act. Also, several states have already or are in the process of taking state-level action to reduce mercury from their power plants.

"By dropping the ball on mercury, the Bush administration and EPA have left it up to states to protect public health," said Madigan. "Michigan families are depending on Governor Granholm to come through on her promise and reduce mercury from state power plants by 90 percent."


Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Bear's Blog Recommendations

Howard Dean's webmaster, Garrett Graff - the guy that helped Dean raise millions in campaign contributions on the internet - has a blog called Fishbowl DC. Pretty impressive site, definitely worth stealing ideas from.

Also check out Ana Marie Cox, formerly an editor at Mother Jones magazine, at Wonkette.com. Ana (Ahh-nah) is a goddess incarnate, I have a huge crush on her.

John Stanton's CongressDaily is updated twice daily with the ongoings on Capital Hill.

Two of the best blogs are American Prospect(Matthew Yglesias is one of many contributors) and Daily Kos. Daily Kos is one of the first blogs ever created, and has gotten pretty cool with the addition of daily diaries of congressmen and senators. The guy who started Daily Kos is Marcus Moulitas. He's in his early 30's, one-smart-dude.

Last but not least is NRDC Action Fund, incredibly well written, thought provoking and has guest bloggers.

Scientists Call on EPA to Reassess Health Risk of Widespread Chemical Bisphenol-A

I'm republishing an article from BushGreenWatch that I received yesterday.

Controversy over the human health impacts of low doses of endocrine disrupting chemicals escalated to a new level yesterday with publication of an analysis in Environmental Health Perspectives. Drs. Fred vom Saal and George Lucier called on the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a new risk assessment of the ubiquitous chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA).

The new report, co-authored by Dr. vom Saal, a neurobiologist at the University of Missouri, and Claude Hughes, a biologist at East Carolina University, evaluated 115 scientific studies of the health impacts of BPA, a chemical used in most plastic containers, food and beverage cans, dental sealants, plastic baby toys and bottles, and other consumer products.

BPA leaches from these containers and into the food and drink they contain... Water used in bathing and drinking is another source of exposure. Large quantities of BPA leach into the soil under landfills, and hence into the water supply.

The authors found that 94 of the studies showed harmful effects from BPA in laboratory animals. They further found that of the 21 studies finding no health effects, 11 were funded by industry.

The new study contrasts with a study completed in 2002 (but released in 2004) by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, which concluded that the "evidence for low-dose effects is very weak." [1] The Center's study was funded by the American Plastics Council.

The debate over BPA has become so intense that it has reached the California state legislature, which is considering a ban on its use in all products for children age three and under.

BPA is so widespread that it has been found in almost every American, and, for that matter, most people in developed countries around the globe. The critical health issue, said vom Saal, is that "the level in humans is consistent with the level in animal studies" that find BPA causing harm. Dr. Lucier, former director of the National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, added that "findings in rats and mice were extremely predictive" for determining health effects in humans.

Studies have found that BPA mimics the female sex hormone estrogen, and can interfere with such body processes as reproductive and brain functions. Babies and infants are especially at risk since they are irreversibly damaged by BPA. According to vom Saal, impacts can range from hyperactivity to increased aggressiveness, learning disabilities, and altered sex behavior as adults. BPA also decreases the male sex hormone testosterone. BPA, says vom Saal, is "an extremely potent sex hormone-like drug."

Pointing out that regulatory responsbility for BPA is the purview of many federal agencies--EPA, the Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among others--Drs. Lucier and vom Saal called for a new risk assessment coordinated among all the involved agencies.

NOTE: Extensive background materials on the BPA issue are available at EMS.org.
SOURCES: Harvard Center for Risk Analysis

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mercury and You

"A Fishy Situation: Mercury and You" is the subject of a panel discussion at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids this week Tuesday, April 19th at 7pm in the Wege Ballroom. Free. Panelists include representatives from the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Clean Water Fund, etc. Look for the bear, he'll be there!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Climate Change Will Hurt Great Lakes Farmers

A new report from the University of Illinois and the Union of Concerned Scientists. shows that changes in precipitation patterns, more extreme rainfall events, rising ozone concentrations, and an increase in pests will disrupt current farming practices throughout the Great Lakes.

The Impacts on Agriculture report can be found at
www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/glchallengereport.html at the bottom of the page.

The comprehensive report on which the agriculture report is based is titled Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region and can be found at www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes.

A full article detailing the agriculture report can be found at www.aces.uiuc.edu/news/stories/news3045.html.

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Fed Should Restrict CO2 Emissions from Cars

Twelve US states, three cities and several prominent environmental groups told a court on Friday that the United States government had a legal duty to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. They said the Clean Air Act mandated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate all emissions which damaged human welfare.

In August 2003, the EPA denied a petition from the nonprofit International Center for Technology Assessment and other groups that sought to impose new controls on auto emissions. The agency said it lacked authority from Congress to regulate greenhouse gases, based on a legal opinion from the agency's top lawyer -- who had reversed the Clinton-era legal opinion that the gases should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

The states challenging the EPA are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, along with the U.S. territory of American Samoa and the cities of Baltimore, New York and Washington.

A number of other states, including Michigan, together with the auto industry, are opposed to the case, which would - if successful - force a shift in policy from the Bush administration. Michigan's attorney general has implied that regulation of CO2 would force an increase in automobile prices, hurting Michigan's auto industry.

Different perspectives from BBC NEWS and the Washington Post.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Federal Court Reverses U.S. Forest Service's Approval of Two Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Timber Sales

Court Finds Forest Service Violated Federal Environmental Laws
in Approving More than 16,000 Acres of Logging in Wisconsin's North Woods

Federal Judge Lynn Adelman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) ruled that the Forest Sevice violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to fully and fairly consider the cumulative impacts of five other current timber sales when it approved both the 8,800-acre McCaslin timber sale near Lakeland and the 7,740-acre Northwest Howell timber sale east of Eagle River in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The Court granted injunctions holding off the timber sales unless and until the Forest Service fully complies with the environmental laws.

Howard Learner, The Environmental Law and Policy Center's Executive Director and Senior Attorney, who presented the cases for the plaintiffs before the Court, said, "These are important decisions protecting clean water, good habitat and outdoor recreation resources in Wisconsin's North Woods that we all care about." ELPC filed three lawsuits challenging timber sales in Northern Wisconsin's National Forest on behalf of the Habitat Education Center. They have won the McCaslin and Northwest Howell cases and are waiting for a decision on the Cayuga timber sale involving another 5,600 acres near Clam Lake.

Technorati: forests, Forest Service, Wisconsin

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Paying to Poison Your Children

The anti-environment Bush administration has produced a new rule on mercury pollution that is deadly and just plain stupid. Nine states, five from New England, are now suing the EPA. And they should be sued for being such moronic toadies of the administration.

The pollution that is pumped daily into the air here in the Midwest rains down on the folks in the Northeast. The new rule fails to protect children and pregnant women from toxins released into the air. Mercury, released into the air as a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, is highly toxic. Nearly every state in the US has advisories warning of mercury levels in fish. Scientists estimate that over 600,000 children are born each year with neurological problems because of mercury exposure.

From yesterday's Christian Science Monitor:

The March 15 regulations - which aim to reduce current mercury emissions of 48 tons a year by 70 percent in the year 2018 - does not cut emissions across the board but gives companies the option of buying pollution credits from other plants that have not reached their maximum emission allotment.

In the lawsuit, attorneys general in New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont claim the EPA fails to fulfill its obligations under the Clean Air Act, in part because it exempts power plants from the strictest controls for emissions - allowing companies to participate in such cap and trade. Many environmentalists say the scheme could cause "hot spots" of mercury deposits, and claim the EPA has ignored technology that could reduce emissions by up to 90 percent.

Rather than forcing utility companies to not poison children, our government is saying that they can pollute all the want as long as they pay up. It's your life, it's your children's lives... so why isn't Michigan on the list? Why isn't our wonderful Governor Granholm - champion of kids - demanding that our attorney general get it in gear and join the fight? Oh, well that would be because our Attorney General Mike Cox is in Washington DC fighting AGAINST labeling auto emissions as a pollutant needing regulation. Did I mention lately, Mike, that I think you've got your head up your rear?

Technorati: mercury, pollution

Sunday, April 03, 2005

That Giant Sucking Sound: The Multiple Threats to Michigan’s Water

A diverse panel will slosh through the politics and threats surrounding the Great Lakes state’s water resources at the Spring Griffin Policy Forum at Central Michigan University on April 19.

“That Giant Sucking Sound: The Multiple Threats to Michigan’s Water” will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. April 19 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium. A public reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the... Bovee UC Terrace Room.

“Any aspect of the environment in Michigan is appropriate as a subject matter,” said Bill Ballenger, CMU’s Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government, who organizes the biannual Griffin Forums.

“We are the Great Lakes State, and for everyone living in Michigan — especially the political community — water has always had a salience. It’s always hotly debated in the legislature,” he said.

“The idea that Michigan government possesses not one but two departments, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality, when the effort elsewhere has been to consolidate — well, it just shows how deeply people in this state care about the environment,” he said.

Panelists will be: Wil Cwikiel, program director, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council; Mike Johnston, director of regulatory affairs, Michigan Manufacturers Association; Lana Pollack, president of the Michigan Environmental Council; and Bill Rustem, president and chief executive officer of Public Sector Consultants Inc. Dave Poulson, assistant director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, will moderate.

Topics will include perceived encroachment on the quantity of Michigan water, both in the Great Lakes and inland. The forum also will address a wide variety of water quality issues, including industrial contamination.

Ballenger said that while Michiganders care about the environment, sometimes it takes a backseat to issues like jobs, education and the economy.

“Everyone wants jobs, and the economy ranks very high on any list. But when you say, ‘Well, you want jobs, but do you care whether the water’s all polluted, people say, ‘Of course we do.’ Yet in some cases, economic interests claim we can’t have both,” Ballenger said.

CMU’s Griffin program seeks to build interest and increased engagement in politics among young adults, faculty and the general citizenry. The endowment honors Robert and Marjorie Griffin, both distinguished CMU alumni.

EPA Releases Findings of Kalamazoo River Damage Assessment

Roughly 80 miles of the Kalamazoo River, stretching east of Kalamazoo and into part of Portage Creek, is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). It is estimated that the river contains approximately 350,000 pounds of PCBs. Five paper mill sites along the Kalamazoo River leaked PCBs into the river for decades. The Kalamazoo River flows directly into Lake Michigan.

In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency designated the river a Superfund site. State and federal agencies conducted a five-year natural resource damage assessment. The findings show... ...the PCBs have done significant damage to fish and wildlife. Note that it took 15 years since designation to complete a five-year assessment.

The EPA says that the Kalamazoo River is safe for recreational use, but people who fish in the river should be aware that fish they catch have consumed significant amounts of carcinogenic PCBs.

The next phase of the assessment involves restoration and creative remedies for the contamination. The five companies that leaked the PCBs into the river will be responsible for footing the bill for the cleanup. A proposed cleanup plan for the river will be released later this year.

One of the companies being held responsible is Weyerhaeuser. In January '05, The Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with these highly-negligent-evil-polluting-assholes that will require them to clean up the Plainwell Mill and the 12th Street Landfill in Plainwell. The settlement requires Weyerhaeuser to reimburse EPA for approximately $138,000 in costs incurred in connection with the mill and landfill.

Weyerhaeuser (an international timber conglomerate with annual sales in the billions) will also pay $6.2 million that will be used to fund cleanup of river contamination. Weyerhaeuser makes that much money in a couple hours by chopping down forests all over North America. The settlement also requires Weyerhaeuser to withdraw its objections to a related settlement with Plainwell, Inc., its corporate parent and several affiliated companies, which is now pending in bankruptcy court. Implementation of the Plainwell settlement will make additional cleanup funds available for cleanup and investigation of the site.

Dear Weyerhaeuser: Either you're evil or you're dumb. Which is it? Are you lazy or just stupid?

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