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Planet Earth psyched for W's departure

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So writes David Bernstein, who offers a top-20 list in this week's Phoenix of why the planet is feeling happy about 44.

Obama has signaled his intentions to make environmental concerns a priority within his administration — as suggested by the top-level team of appointees he introduced this past week.

If the Obama team is successful, there are at least 20 ways in which our home planet will be grateful for the change in management.

1. DRINKING WATER WILL CONTAIN LESS ROCKET FUEL

The Bush White House has blocked a six-year-long effort by career scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit perchlorate levels in drinking water, according to the Washington Post. Perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, is (shocker!) considered unhealthy for children and pregnant women.

And if you think you're safe because you drink bottled water, guess again. At least water that comes through the public tap must meet EPA standards. Water bottled for sale, however, is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA was supposed to adopt standards at least as strict as the EPA's, but it hasn't actually done so. The result: there are no standards, and studies have shown that contaminants in some bottled water are over EPA-allowed levels. Not that you'd ever realize it, because neither does the FDA impose any right-to-know labeling requirement on bottled water.

Click here to read the whole thing.

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