GreenYes Digest V98 #151

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:28:26 -0500

GreenYes Digest Tue, 4 Aug 98 Volume 98 : Issue 151

Today's Topics:
Campaign contributions
Fw: The legal draft
Fwd: Playa Vista Recycles Almost 90 Percent of Demolished...
Looking for Ideas to Convey Subsidy Magnitude
Mandates to use recycled plastic
PIRG proposal
political contributions

Send Replies or notes for publication to: <greenyes@UCSD.Edu>
Send subscription requests to: <greenyes-Digest-Request@UCSD.Edu>
Problems you can't solve otherwise to
Loop-Detect: GreenYes:98/151

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 06:10:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <>
Subject: Campaign contributions

>Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 10:47:03 -0500 (EST)
>From: sarah e jones <>
>Can someone tell me where I can find out who are the contributers to
>a senator or congress member's election campaign and how much $ was
>contributed? Sally Jones
Sally et. al. - In response to your question, here's the relevant info. from
the GrassRoots Recycling Network's website at :

Money in Environmental Politics and The Need for Campaign Finance Reform

A summary of organizations, websites and publications relevant to the
topic of campaign finance reform:

CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS A post-election analysis by the
Center for Responsive Politics
revealed that 9 out of every 10 House candidates who spent more than
their opponents won election.

CITIZEN ACTION Advocates full public financing of elections.

COMMON CAUSE Advocates a system of incentives including some public
funding for electoral campaigns to
encourage the best and brightest citizens to run for public office
coupled with voluntary spending limits.

E MAGAZINE Sept/Oct 96 Issue cover story "Dirty Money-Big Bucks Fuel
An Anti-Green Congress" produced
with assistance from Center for Responsive Politics. E Magazine

ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP EWG's website Campaign Finance Page
shows how much money
Senate, House and Presidential candidates took from polluting
industries at the site. In addition, EWG and U.S. Public Interest Research
Group released a report "Contributing to Extinction." The report analyzes
PAC contributions and the Republican push to rewrite the Endangered Species
Act. The report examines 176 Political Action Committees (PACs) associated
with two industry coalitions -- the Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition
and the Endangered Species Coordinating Council -- behind the rewrite
effort. EWG also released "Swamped With Cash," a report that analyzes
political campaign contributions and the assault on America's wetlands laws.
Opponents of wetlands regulations donated $4 million in the last two years
to members of the House of Representatives who voted in favor of relaxing
current wetlands protection.

LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS LCV's website contains current
information on the voting records of
lawmakers, a list of LCV endorsed candidates , and profiles of LCV's
Dirty Dozen.

THE SIERRA CLUB Analyzed the role of money in environmental politics
in its report, Take the Money & Run.$$$.html

US PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP Published the report "Cashing In:
Political Contributions and the
National Bottle Bill Debate, October 1996". The report notes, for
example, that when the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted
against a national bottle bill in 1992 by a vote of 10-6, the Senators
voting against the bill received 75 times more contributions, on average,
from anti-bottle bill interests than those Senator that voted for the bill.
US PIRG (202)546-9707


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 23:25:37 -0500
From: "Dan Johnson-Weinberger" <>
Subject: Fw: The legal draft

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Johnson-Weinberger <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, August 03, 1998 3:28 PM
Subject: The legal draft

>Client: Environmental Law and Policy Center
>Project Title: Local mandates for recycled content plastic
>Description: Plastics are a problem. Unlike other materials, the plastics
>industry in the United States is still overwhelmingly using virgin
>Less than 10% of all plastic is recycled, and virgin production is 14 times
>greater than recycled plastic production. [1] This makes plastic a
>relatively worthless material for recyclers, so municipal and institutional
>recycling programs lose revenue, as the material becomes a liability
>of an asset. The material is then landfilled, incinerated or stockpiled,
>the energy-intensive consequences from virgin production continue
>Plastics use is increasing while recycling is decreasing. [2]
>Grassroots advocates claim the cost to use recycled plastic instead of
>virgin material is about 1/4 cent per bottle, the technology to use
>plastic exists, and that virgin resin has been dumped onto the market to
>undercut the recycled plastic bottles. They argue that national mandates in
>many European nations require bottlers to use recycled plastic overseas and
>that Coca-Cola promised to import that technology to the U.S. in 1990, but
>hasn't followed through and has sparked a grass-roots movement in protest.
>A federal mandate would be the easiest to craft, but we can bring a
>to the states and local governments as well. Can states impose mandates on
>bottles sold in their jurisdictions, or can they require any bottles sold
>state agencies, including public universities, to use PCR? National
>environmental organizations can make this project part of their 'local'
>strategy, and enlist their members in a pro-active campaign with a high
>likelihood of success, rather than another unfulfilling reactive campaign
>stop environmental rollbacks in Washington. If we had a report to send to
>progressives and activists all over the country to legitimize the effort,
>can change the plastic industry. At least we know this one won't get
>up in some congressional committee.
>This presents knotty legal questions. I'm not sure whether dormant commerce
>clause jurisprudence allows a state or municipality to impose content
>restrictions on plastic bottles sold in their jurisdiction. As market
>participants, states have more leeway, but there is a circuit split on
>whether a state can impose restrictions on local governments' purchasing
>policies. Municipal mandates might need to be analyzed under their
>respective state law (which might call for a 50 state checklist of
>applicable laws on municipal powers). Can a college or university impose
>these restrictions for bottles sold on campus, especially when as part of
>the recent trend of exclusive 'pouring rights' contracts with one company,
>as a Buy Recycled Plastic policy?
>Work Product: The report would be in three parts: legal, technical and
>The legal report would detail the authority to impose PCR mandates of:
>* states for bottles sold in their jurisdictions,
>* states for bottles bought by state agencies, especially public
>universities, and local governments,
>* local governments for bottles they purchase (perhaps with a 50 state
>analysis of applicable state law)
>* public and private universities for all bottles sold on campus
>(especially with the rise of exclusive pouring rights contracts on college
> The technical/economic side would
>* describe the current state of plastics recycling domestically and
>* the availability of technology and the associated costs to use PCR
>plastic in the United States,
>* the likely effect on the plastics recycling industry and the
>environment these mandates will have,
>* and perhaps a similar analysis for design mandates such as
>single-resin restrictions to make recycling easier and spark the plastics
>market better than a post-consumer recycled mandate would.
>The political portion would identify friendly states, cities, environmental
>groups, waste managers, recyclers and associations that would likely
>the proposal and would need the legal and scientific findings from the
>report to invest resources in the campaign. Armed with this report, the
>clients can then lobby other groups to take on the proposal and launch a
>pro-active recycling campaign on the local level to shift the plastics
>[1] Something to Hide: The Sorry State of Plastics Recycling. EDF report.
>[2] Ibid.
>[3] GrassRoots Recycling Network Letter to Coca-Cola
> <>


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 22:58:47 EDT
Subject: Fwd: Playa Vista Recycles Almost 90 Percent of Demolished...

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-ID: <>
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Thought this might be of interest.

Judi Gregory
Global Waste Recycling

Content-ID: <>
Content-type: message/rfc822
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
Content-disposition: inline

Return-path: <>
Subject: Playa Vista Recycles Almost 90 Percent of Demolished...
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 17:54:10 EDT
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

Playa Vista Recycles Almost 90 Percent of Demolished Buildings


Innovative Development Sets High Industry Standards for Reuse of


At a news conference Monday at the former Hughes Aircraft Co. plant on
the eastern end of Playa Vista, Playa Vista President Peter Denniston
reported that the development has recycled almost 90% of materials from seven
buildings that have been deconstructed at the Hughes site.

Four additional buildings are also scheduled for demolition.

Playa Vista also announced that the remaining 11 buildings, including the
historic hangar where the "Spruce Goose" was built, will be refurbished and
used within the Campus at Playa Vista, the project's new entertainment, media
and technology district. The recovered materials include aluminum, asphalt,
brass, concrete, copper, lumber, and steel. As a result, 15,499 tons of
material have been diverted from landfills.

"We were challenged to show our commitment and we have. Now, we are
calling on the rest of the building industry to join Playa Vista's approach,"
said Denniston, who stood before large piles of material to be recycled from
the Hughes buildings. "So many commercial products, including steel
furniture, wood flooring, decorative wood chips, and road base, can be made
from these recycled materials.

"In our efforts to make Playa Vista a model, we have learned that an
environmentally sustainable economy requires that reuse and recycling
programs be embraced," noted Denniston. "Recycling saves energy, creates
jobs, preserves precious natural resources, and conserves landfill space.
Reuse of old materials conserves non-renewable energy and reduces pollution.
We are proud to show how these programs can both be practical and help
preserve our environment."

"Playa Vista's commitment to recycling and reuse programs is not limited
to the Hughes plant program," said Lisa Weil, Playa Vista's environmental
affairs director. "We have also established recycling programs for all of
our offices, including construction support. In addition, Playa Vista's
procurement policy also closes the loop for recycled products. All of our
furniture and office supplies are either recycled or have recycled content."

Not-for-profit sustainable development organizations have applauded Playa
Vista's leadership role in embracing the recycling and reusing of
deconstructed materials. "Playa Vista's program is an outstanding example of
how steel and other metals are being recovered and recycled at record rates
in the United States," said Gregory Crawford, vice president of operations
for the Steel Recycling Institute.

By encouraging the efficient use of energy and water resources,
sustainable development minimizes the impact on the environment, while
providing a balanced sense of community and place. The overall philosophy
promotes urban infill and redevelopment rather than increased sprawl.
Particular strategies may include recycling and reclamation programs to
reduce landfills and save water, and alternative transportation systems and
local shopping and recreation amenities to reduce car trips and encourage
neighborhood interaction.

Playa Vista is one of the very first large mixed-use projects to
integrate sustainable development strategies throughout the development. By
exploring every feasible sustainable development concept, Playa Vista will
extend the possibilities of urban design. Playa Vista's location and design
will create a sense of place while encouraging people to get around without
their cars. In addition, forward-thinking concepts in building materials and
energy, water, and recycling systems are being considered for incorporation
into the project.

Playa Vista is being developed on a 1,087-acre site, and has been widely
praised as a model of modern urban planning in its incorporation of a broad
range of forward-thinking planning and environmental initiatives. More than
half of the project will be devoted to open space and a variety of
recreational and environmental uses, including the restoration of the Ballona
Wetlands, improving habitat for many species of flora and fauna, and, during
the first phase of development, creating a freshwater marsh and restoring a
portion of Centinela Creek along the Westchester bluffs to a natural state.

Playa Vista Phase One will provide up to 3,246 new residences in an array
of housing types and will create thousands of jobs. The Campus at Playa
Vista, an entertainment, media and technology district, is planned for the
site of the former Hughes Aircraft factory. Playa Vista is also sponsoring
PVJOBS, a programs that matches disadvantaged local youths with construction
jobs at the project.

--30--LES/la MEL/la


Playa Vista, Los Angeles

David A. Herbst, 310/448-4632


Rogers & Associates

Coby King, 310/552-6922 x 174

To edit your profile, go to keyword <A HREF="aol://1722:NewsProfiles">
For all of today's news, go to keyword <A HREF="aol://1722:News">News</A>.



Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 04:48:58 -0400
From: "Bill Sheehan" <>
Subject: Looking for Ideas to Convey Subsidy Magnitude


In revising the Welfare for Wasting report*, we are looking for statistics
that the average American can relate to and that put tax subsidies for virgin
materials in perspective. How can millions and billions of dollars be related
to common recycling or wasting actions or items, like putting a used beverage
container in a recycling bin, or putting the trash in the can?

Our report identifies $3.4 billion per year in taxpayer subsidies for virgin
materials (and that is the tip of the iceberg). We cannot assume a one-to-one
relationship between subsidies and prices -- e.g. removing the $3.4 billion
will not raise the price of virgin materials by that amount because some
prices are set on the international market; nor will it have an equivalent
effect on recycling (or wasting) prices.

Nonetheless, can we come up with some figures that bring down to earth the
magnitude of virgin material subsidies relative to readily understood
recycling actions or items? Thanks for sharing your brain power!

--Bill Sheehan

* The Welfare for Waste report is a joint project of Taxpayers for Common
Sense, the Materials Efficiency Project, the GrassRoots Recycling Network, and
Friends of the Earth. The report will be released this Fall in communities
across America by individuals and organizations concerned about recycling and
resource conservation. If you are interested in being a part of this event
please contact me.

Bill Sheehan
Network Coordinator
GrassRoots Recycling Network
P.O. Box 49283
Athens GA 30604-9283
Tel: 706-613-7121


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 23:25:16 -0500
From: "Dan Johnson-Weinberger" <>
Subject: Mandates to use recycled plastic

Hi all.

My name is Dan Johnson-Weinberger and I'm a legal intern at the
Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest. I've got a proposal that
I'd like you all to consider, if you would.

Ever since I worked for Tim Hoss at the U. of Illinois, I've been bothered
by plastic. Like an invasive weed, this virgin material is taking over the
waste stream and making life difficult for recyclers, especially those that
depend on extracting some revenue to operate the recycling division. If only
we can follow the lead of other countries that force bottlers to use
post-consumer recycled plastic, then we'd have a better market for plastic.

I think colleges and universities could adopt "Buy Recycled Plastic"
policies, especially in this era of exclusive contracts with one major soft
drink maker. If Coke or Pepsi wants to cut an exclusive deal with a
progressive campus, they'll have to supply their drinks in post-consumer
plastic bottles (if they use plastic at all).

Even better, cities and states might be able to pass local mandates,
allowing only post-consumer plastic to be sold in their jurisdiction. If
Coke won't voluntarily use post-consumer material, we can force it to.

The proposal is to have the Yale Environmental Law Clinic create a report
detailing the legal and scientific potential for these types of policies,
for free. All we need is a client. I hope GRRN or any grass-roots recycling
group would consider being a client -- the more the merrier. It involves
no money, little time (a conference call once every two weeks), and you get
a report that you can take to allies in city councils, state legislatures
and university governing boards to implement this mandate.

What follows this email are two permutations of this proposal -- one, a
letter to an environmental group inviting them to be a client as well
(again, the more the merrier), and the other, the draft proposal to the Yale
Environmental Law Clinic.

If you're interested, or have any questions, please call me at 312-795-3726.

Thanks (and feel free to forward on).
Dan Johnson-Weinberger
Legal Intern
Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest
35 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1300
Chicago, Illinois 60601


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 23:25:59 -0500
From: "Dan Johnson-Weinberger" <>
Subject: PIRG proposal

>Plastics are a problem. They are not recycled as much as other material and
>their use is increasing. One was to help turn the industry around would be
>to impose mandates on plastic manufacturing to use some percentage of
>post-consumer material. Although national legislation would be the most
>efficient, that's not a political possibility. Imagine, though, if dozens
>colleges, universities, and municipalities each adopted a Buy Recycled
>Plastic policy for all of the many plastic bottles sold on campus. At some
>schools, the contracts for soft drinks are massive - hundreds of thousands
>of bottles. The effect could be as if a national mandate had been passed,
>enough local jurisdictions passed a local mandate. And these are political
>battles we can win. Groups like the state PIRGs are well positioned to
>around a local issue - passing the local mandate - with a national impact.
>Even better, the colleges and cities that dispose of the bottles have a
>financial interest in improving the plastic recycling market. When plastic
>is not recycled, nobody wants to buy post-consumer plastic, and they
>colleges and cities have to pay to landfill it. If plastic is recycled,
>however, then, like aluminum, the bottlers will pay for post-consumer
>plastic, and the material will shift from a liability to an asset. This
>makes convincing a college to implement a Buy Recycled Plastic policy an
>easy sell. All they need is a report that shows it is possible and
>and will save them money.
>The Yale Environmental Law Clinic will create this report for free. They
>looking for proposals, like this one, to work on over a semester with a
>of 3-4 students spending 10 hours a week or so researching the legal and
>technical aspects to the problem. The student leader of the clinic is
>Hampton (612-336-3560) and she told me today that this proposal looks like
>something the Clinic would be interested in working on. All she needs is a
>client willing to spend an hour every other week for the semester to get an
>update from the group in a conference call (something I am excited to
>organize), and, hopefully, attend a presentation in New Haven in January.
>That's all. Otherwise, the client just has to disseminate the report and
>to get make it happen.
>I hope you and other groups you know are interested in being a client. I
>think it would work best if there were several different groups involved,
>that when we get the work product in January or so, we can all try to
>disseminate this report and get some Buy Recycled Plastic policies passed.
>There are a lot of grass-roots student environmental groups out there, and
>think this can be one issue everyone can rally around in 1999. Also, as
>colleges would benefit financially from the policy, it should be an easy
>political sell. How else can we get such a good report for such a small
>investment of time and money?
>I've enclosed the draft proposal to the Clinic. Please look this over and
>let me know what you think. My thought is that this is a potentially great
>pro-active environmental battle outside of D.C., which would be nice after
>so many re-active battles in Washington. Thanks for your time; hope to hear
>from you soon.
>Dan Johnson-Weinberger
>Legal Intern
>Environmental Law & Policy Center of the Midwest
>35 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1300
>Chicago IL 60601


Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 09:36:41 -0400
From: chelsea center for recycling and economic development
Subject: political contributions

Project Vote Smart might also have some info. I don't have their contact
informaton handy. I am pretty sure they are in the DC area.

Amy Perlmutter
Executive Director
Chelsea Center for Recycling and
Economic Development
180 Second Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
617-887-2300/fax 617-887-0399


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #151