NRDC OnEarth
NRDC   OnEarth
The Earth’s Best Defense

Current Issue
About OnEarth

Cover, Current Issue
Letter from the Editor
Contact OnEarth
Full Table of Contents
Back Issues
Media Kit

NRDC Membership

A NEW WEBSITE! blogs, more multimedia, and award-winning journalism Ė come join the conversation at

Ribbons & Rebukes

Ribbon for making change If you thought your morning can of Diet Coke gave you a jolt, try this: Each year, the 3 million soda machines across the country consume some 13 billion kilowatt-hours of energy. But thanks to Royal Vendors, thatís about to drop. The countryís largest manufacturer of refrigerated soda machines is the first to offer energy-efficient ones, which reduce consumption by up to 50 percent.

Ribbon for stellar citizens San Francisco residents voted a resounding Yes! for renewable energy, approving a $100 million bond measure to put solar panels on the roofs of city-owned buildings and schools, and also to erect wind turbines. The city expects to generate enough electricity to power more than 37,000 homes.

Rebuke for misappropriation It takes some twisted logic to use a national crisis to justify filling in more wetlands. But thatís exactly what John Studt, regulatory chief for the Army Corps of Engineers, did in a September 21 email obtained by The Oregonian. "The harder we work to expedite issuance of permits, the more we serve the nation by moving the economy forward," he wrote. Little wonder that a report released by the National Research Council last summer chastised the corps for its lax enforcement of wetlands protections.

Rebuke for fuzzy math At the USDA, it appears the best way to reach your goals is to fudge your numbers. The department had estimated that farmers on 70 percent of the nationís farmland were utilizing Integrated Pest Management practices to reduce pesticide use, just short of its goal of 75 percent. But the killjoys at the Government Accounting Office say that the USDA counted practices that had no impact on spraying, and that, in fact, the program has been a dismal failure.
— Jason Best

OnEarth. Winter 2002
Copyright 2001 by the Natural Resources Defense Council