Multinational Monitor

JUN 1998
VOL 19 No. 6


Dirty Old Grandfathered Plants: The Clean Air Act's Lung-Charring Loopholes
by Fred Richardson and Andrew Wheat

Wasting Away: Big Agribusiness Factory Farms Make a Big Mess
by Tanya Tolchin

Ravaging the Poor: IMF Indicted By Its Own Data
by Gabriel Kolko

An Enemy of Indigenous People: The Case of Loren Miller, COICA, the Inter-American Foundation and the Ayahuasca Plant
by Danielle Knight


Taking Aim at the Gun Makers
an interview with
David Kairys


Behind the Lines

U.S. Drug Imperialism

The Front
Emissions Omissions - Out of the Mouths of Babes

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Money & Politics
Trade Association Directory

Their Masters' Voice
The Burma Lobby

Names In the News


Corporate Predators

Dirty Old Grandfathered Plants: The Clean Air Act's Lung-Charring Loophole

by Fred Richardson and Andrew Wheat

Texas environmentalists have a hunch about what fouled up the air in a state that leads the nation most years in toxic air emissions. In the early 1970s, the Texas legislature followed the federal lead by exempting then-existing industrial facilities from new smokestack permits that the state imposed when it implemented the federal Clean Air Act. The rationale behind such so-called "grandfather" exemptions was that these dirty old facilities would be replaced by cleaner new plants. Three decades later, the assumption that industry voluntarily would spend the money needed to replace these filthy old plants looks naive.

"This grandfathered problem is a huge national issue," says Neil Carman, a nationally recognized expert on the matter who directs the Clean Air Program of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "I've communicated with people all over the country on this for six years and all of them have these kinds of problems," Carman says. "These plants operate at the fringe of the law. If they don't have a state permit, it's like there is no emissions speed limit. It's as if you're barreling along in a 1965 truck and a cop pulls you over and you say, 'It's all right, officer, I'm grandfathered.'" MORE >>

"An Enemy of Indigenous Peoples:" The Case of Loren Miller, COICA, the Inter-American Foundation and the Ayahuasca plant

by Danielle Knight

Indigenous groups are planning a legal battle against the patent claims of a U.S. pharmaceutical corporation on an Amazonian plant, ayahuasca, the main ingredient in an indigenous ceremonial drink. Charging that the patent was improperly issued, indigenous groups plan to challenge the claim at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with the help of two Washington-based organizations, the Center for International Environmental Law and the Coalition for Amazonian Peoples and their Environment.

"The objective is the annulment of the ayahuasca patent and to teach international bio-pirates a lesson," says Rodolfo Asar, director of the Ecuador-based Coordinating Body for Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon (COICA), an organization representing over 400 indigenous groups from eight different countries. MORE >>

Ravaging the Poor: IMF Indicted by Its Own Data

by Gabriel Kolko

For the first time since its creation a half-century ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is being subjected to severe criticisms from establishment sources that may profoundly alter its future role in guiding the world economy. MORE >>

Taking Aim at the Gun Makers

An Interview with David Kairys

Temple University Law School professor David Kairys is a leading civil rights lawyer who has developed a theory for municipal suits against gun manufacturers for their role in urban violence. (The theory is elaborated in the "Legal Claims of Cities Against the Manufacturers of Handguns," in the Spring 1998 Temple Law Review (71 Temple L.R. 1)). Kairys is the editor of The Politics of Law and the author of With Liberty and Justice for Some: A Critique of the Conservative Supreme Court. He is also of counsel to the Philadelphia civil rights law firm of Kairys, Rudovsky, Epstein, Messing & Rau.


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