In the Public Interest

Stomach Pains

Arlene Lehto,a citizen of Duluth, Minnesota has been on a crusade to prevent pollution of Lake Superior. This tenacious drive has put her in conflict with a powerful company, the Reserve Mining Co., which dumps 67,000 tons a day of solid waste called tailings” from its taconite (low grade iron ore) processing plant 60 miles…

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Radioactive Leaks

Even among the strongest backers of the commercial nuclear power program in this country, the problem of how to store the hot radioactive wastes is acknow­ledged as unsolved and potentially very dangerous. These radioactive wastes, many of which will remain lethally active for tens of thousands of years, are largely deposited in tanks at several…

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Public Spirits Spread

In the forefront of many consumers, taxpayer and environmental struggles have been increasing numbers of public interest lawyers representing citizens’ grievances and reforms in courts, before legislatures and regulatory agencies. These lawyers, while still small in number, are pushing law firms, bar associations and law schools to question what they should be doing to connect…

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Taking the Government to Court

New kinds of plaintiffs are taking the federal government to court in increasing numbers of cases. These plaintiffs are Senators and Representatives. Their causes almost invariably charge that a government agency or department has acted unlawfully under laws passed by Congress or under the Constitution. Just a few days ago, Federal District Judge William B.…

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Monopolies

The relentless juggernaut of monopoly is pushing two bills–one sponsored by the soft drink industry and the other by the giant milk producing combines-‑through the Congress. These special interest bills are being lobbied through the Senate and the House with techniques that reveal, as if by a legislative x-ray, many of the deficiencies of that…

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Drinking Dirty Water

Mounting disclosures about unsafe drinking water systems throughout the United States have now reached a level requiring the urgent attention of concerned citizens. Everyone knows of the pollution of our lakes, rivers and streams but few people are focusing on the fact that too much of these lethal wastes are getting past archaic water purification…

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A Swiss Example

Unlike their less active counterparts in the United States, consumer cooperatives in Switzerland are engaged in a fast and broadening growth of services for consumer well-being. The largest such cooperative is the Federation of Migros Cooperatives with annual sales over $1.2 billion and a membership exceeding 900,000. In many ways the Migros story has remarkable…

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Why Corporations Fight

One of the reputed safeguards for consumers is that companies will challenge each other’s violations of law and marketplace excesses out of their own self interest. This doctrine is called economic pluralism and was given popular currency over twenty years ago in John K. Galbraith’s American Capitalism: The Theory of Countervailing Power. The trouble with…

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PROD, Teamsters, Truckers

What do over-the-road truck drivers do when they become dissatisfied with their Teamsters Union’s indifference toward unsafe tractor-trailers and driving conditions? They hire their own full-time lawyer in Washington to push the federal government on truck safety. With our encouragement, several hundred truck drivers have formed the Professional Drivers Council (PROD) whose director is Arthur…

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It’s A Gas — One Dollar A Gallon?

During the last month, sources within the oil industry began floating the prospect that gasoline could sell at a dollar a gallon within five years! The oil industry always thinks big whether in seeking tax loopholes, government insulation from competition or political campaign contributions. But in these days of calculated gasoline shortages, the industry’s “major”(about…

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