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ED & NRDC Censor and Limit Participation

<-- Back to Environmentalism in the 21st Century

On January 10, 2001, an email was forwarded to the ban-toxics@egroups.com and the air-mail@topica.com discussion listservs. The email was originally sent to Sanford Lewis by Fred Krupp, director of Environmental Defense. The email was meant to alert some in the environmental community (a very limited number as it turns out) that Fred Krupp was a member of the EPA Transition Team and that any comments to the team were due by January 11, 2001.

ED's (EDF) Fred Krupp says, "One of the reasons I accepted this invitation is that I wanted to make sure that the concerns of the full range of environmental groups were put before Governor Whitman. I am therefore particularly concerned that your views on the critical challenges still remaining be included in her briefing materials."

Given Krupp's statement I would expect to have received an "action alert" from Environmental Defense, seen an announcement on many lists and websites including ED's homepage and their "Action Network" website, but there was no mention - zip.

I thought it odd that I had not seen it elsewhere especially since the deadline was only 2 days away and it was such an important issue. Krupp said that he wanted to represent the "full range" of concerns from environmental groups and I wondered how and if this was being accomplished. I decided to do a bit of Fred's work and get the message out to many lists. I'm glad I did it although it had some interesting results.

I received over 100 emails about the issue. All but a few thanked me for sending the message to them. They said they had not seen it before just as I suspected. The few that had seen it were from mostly mainstream large groups and a couple of smaller ones that had worked with ED in the past. Only one person chastised me directly (from a large midwest group) saying that I should not criticise Krupp's good work. I also received dozens of copies of comments to the EPA Transition team that otherwise would never have been spent. -- A good day!

Jayne Mardock from NRDC called, leaving a message that she wanted to talk to me about my use of their listserv (air-mail and the clean air network). She also sent an administrative message to the air-mail list saying that posts like mine were not allowed because they only allowed posts that were directly related to clean air. I never could get her to discuss the issues by email so I would have a written record.

I checked the archives and the truth is that the messages range far and wide from clean air at times. At any rate, some of the folks who thanked me for the message found out about it because they were subscribers to NRDC's air-mail listserv.

About mid-afternoon, I received a message that my subscription to NRDC's air mail had been terminated. VERY interesting.

If anything this strengtens my suspicions that ED and now NRDC desires any substantive input from the "outside". They have a few select partners or groups that they have worked with and will "tow the line", but into their agenda.

This also strengthens my resolve to do more work on "environmentalism in the 21st century". I'm on the right track. These big organizations are the ones with the power, the ones at the table, that play a big part in our environmental future on many levels.

We have the Right-To-Know what the environmental groups in power are doing with our environmental future. We also have a Right-To-Participate in the agenda setting and decision making.

Love to hear about your experiences and your thoughts.

Best,

Mike Meuser, meuser@mapcruzin.com

P.S. Please send me an email and let me know if you heard about this (except through my emails). Let me know one way or the other. Also, if you send comments to the EPA Transition Team, please copy them to me as well. Thanks.

Click here to read the email. It has instructions for who to send your comments to. Please note that the deadline for sending comments to the EPA Transition team is January 11, 2001.

<-- Back to Environmentalism in the 21st Century

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