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A few hours south of San Francisco—and just east of the valley that was often Steinbeck’s stage—are the reddened remains of an ancient volcano known as the Neenach. This volcano, formed around 23 million years ago, according to scientists’ estimates, came to straddle the tense intersection between two massive crustal plates: the Pacific and the North American.

Tom Gross, an official with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is frustrated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Gross has been publicly complaining that EPA requirements to use the latest pollution-mitigating technologies are annoying. "The whole process was incredibly frustrating," Gross told the House Energy and Utilities Committee. "We told them a few words we can't repeat," reported the Lawrence-Journal World.

Jim DiPeso, executive director of Republicans for Environmental Protection, has a nice blog post describing the latest machinations of the GOP (and coal state Sen. Jay Rockefeller) taking aim at the EPA.  Gingrich wants to abolish the agency that has helped clear the air and clean the water.  (He's apparently nailing down the all-important "don't need to breathe or drink" demographic).

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