President Obama has sent clear signals that he will pursue initiatives that he can move forward within existing laws and without the need to wrestle with Congress. Now is the time for the president to take action to protect communities from the threat of chemical disasters.
Until Congress stands up to the chemical industry lobby and does the right thing by reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act, parents everywhere will continue to read books about the issues, educate themselves about safer alternatives and take action. That's not hysterical. That's heroic.
The EPA has unveiled its analysis of a database containing information on the disposal or release of 650 potentially dangerous chemicals used by almost 21,000 facilities. But this provides only a snapshot of the pollution produced by American industry.
I believe in inclusiveness and engagement in discussing the future of our water, but I also believe we must pursue those principles within a context that is honest. To do otherwise is to participate in what is popularly called "greenwashing."
Pollution prevention, efficiency, conservation, reuse, doing things locally and in a distributed and decentralized manner are all core principles for moving forward with water and other natural resources.
On Tuesday, Greenpeace held a protest at computer giant Dell's headquarters for the company's backtracking on its public commitment to eliminate key toxic chemicals in its products by 2009.
There is still time for Dell to do the right thing.