Quick Green Reads For The Weekend Volume Eighty.

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Ahh, Labor Day Weekend. Wanna know what we are doing? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. And we are going to love every minute of it. Whatever you decide to do, be safe and have fun!

Joe Biden commutes to work each day on Amtrak and has been a strong supporter of the beleaguered rail service. He is an original co-sponsor of the Amtrak Reauthorization Bill (National Defense Rail Act), S.104, introduced on January 7, 2003. Introducing an earlier version of the bill with Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) on March 6, 2002, Biden stated, “For 30 years, I have witnessed Congress dangling a carrot in front of Amtrak’s eyes, funding it just enough for it to limp along. And I’ll tell you, this has to stop. Now is the time to commit politically and financially to a strong, safe, and efficient passenger rail system.

With all the recent talk about high gas prices and strategies for improving your mileage, I thought I’d highlight a recent article from Consumer Reports on getting the best fuel economy for your buck. CR dug through their recent ratings and compiled a list of the most reliable cars ranked by their cost per mpg.

People attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week are the target of a $2 million advertising and PR blitz by a coal industry-funded front group called the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) whose goal is to sell the idea that coal is somehow clean. Of course, as most people know, coal is far from clean. But that hasn’t stopped ACCCE and their corporate backers from desperately trying to sell a “green” and environmentally friendly image.

If you compare the Ford F150 truck (the most popular vehicle in the US) to the Toyota Prius hybrid, you see that 2004 models of those sell respectively for $9,670 and $21,035 according to the Kelly Blue Book. The Prius is worth more than twice what the F150 is worth, despite an original MSRP of about $4k less ($22,160 vs. $26,140, though dealer ‘incentives’ usually bring F150 prices down). The Prius kept about 95% of its value after 4 years, and the Honda Civic (non-hybrid) kept 75% of its value, versus 37% for the Ford F150 and 40% for the Dodge Caravan.

An investigation by the Associated Press (AP) has revealed that the drinking water of at least 41 million people in the United States is contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs. While sewage is treated before being released back into the environment, and water from reservoirs or rivers is also treated before being funneled back into the drinking water supply, these treatments are not able to remove all traces of medications. And so far, the EPA has not regulated the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, meaning that there are no laws in existence today that protect consumers from this increasingly dangerous chemical contaminant of the water supply.

Earlier in the season, I planted these wispy little cherry tomato seedlings I grew from seed, worried that they wouldn’t make it. They seemed to fragile. And then they started growing, and growing and growing. And they were as tall as me (I’m 5”²6”³, for reference). There is such a thing as too many tomatoes…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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