Follow the Bouncing Bill
You should put in some guide re: the dates (approximate) when Senate and
House bills come up for a vote.
-- Sarah Johnson
Good suggestion. Unfortunately, our deadlines and the sometimes last-minute
scheduling of votes make it difficult to do that. But you can always call the
Sierra Club's Legislative Hotline at (202) 675-2394 for the latest news on Club
You can also check out our daily action alerts on our Web page at
The Wrong Mask
In the Jan./Feb. issue of The Planet, the little boy in the picture on the left of
page 1 is not wearing a gas mask. He is wearing a face mask attached to a
nebulizer, a device that delivers medication to the wearer.
-- Robert R. Marble
Rio Grande Chapter
Ouch! We stand corrected.
Does Free Trade Equal Trade Secrets?
You missed the worst of it in your article, "Why the Club Says No to NAFTA
Expansion" (Nov. 1997). The worst is ISO, the International Organization for
Standardization. This approach makes the environmental "management" data a
trade secret. Not only can the public not see it, but also, letting that
information out leaves the informant in jeopardy of criminal prosecution.
-- Marvin I. Lewis
Mr. Lewis makes a good point. Trade agreements can override domestic
environmental laws and make them subservient to the edicts of international
standard-setting organizations (such as ISO). ISO now has a new regime, ISO
1400l, for corporations to use to manage their environmental responsibilities,
but none of the data on what really happens has to be disclosed. Nor do ISO
companies, in fact, have to be in compliance with pollution control laws (they
just have to "say" they intend to comply). As these two steps march in lock-
step, they could add up to major moves in the wrong direction.
Mr. Lewis is also right to worry about proposals to shield audited information
from the public, but that is not necessarily tied to ISO 1400l.
-- Michael McCloskey
Sierra Club Chairman