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Pettiness Isn't Biodegradable

About three years ago I visited a friend who works for Henry Waxman, the Southern California congressman who was such a magnificent thorn in the side of the Bush administration. My friend proudly took me to lunch in the cafeteria. This was soon after the Democrats reclaimed the House and voted in Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

One of Ms. Pelosi's early acts was to green up the cafeteria: compostable paper cups and napkins and such, healthful food, other modern and eco-friendly items and touches. You could still get pizza, but the array of fresh vegetables, salad fixin's and fresh fruits was quite extraordinary for a cafeteria and the food was surprisingly tasty.

No more.The new Republican leaders have ditched the biodegradable food containers and restocked the place with foam cups.

Wonkette became nearly apoplectic:

Foamed polystyrene' is a miraculous invention that manages to be completely awful through every step of its near-eternal 'life cycle' -- it is manufactured with petroleum that must be imported from Middle East dictatorships, toxic 'styrene oligomers' migrate into the food it holds, it's highly flammable and produces black poisonous smoke, and most of the 25 billion polystyrene cups tossed every year will take more than half a millennium to degrade. And that's why the Republican-led House of Representatives made it an immediate priority to cancel the House cafeteria's four years of biodegradable food and beverage packaging.

I'm speechless. I don't know if they've gone after the menu and reinstated Freedom Fries and suchlike, but I wouldn't be surprised. Ain't politics wonderful?

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.