Friends of Rachel Carson win a quiet victory

June 13, 2008

How quiet?

None of my news readers pulled it up, either last August and September, when U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Penn., got the bill through Congress and signed into law by President Bush, nor a couple of weeks ago when the action occurred.

The Post Office in Rachel Carson’s home town, Springdale, Pennsylvania, has been named in her honor. The ceremony at the Post Office was held on May 27, 2008.

Rep. Rob Bishop’s, R-Utah, incendiary and inaccurate statement on the bill was what caught my eye originally about the continuing campaign of calumny against the author and scientist.

Rep. Altmire conducted a petition campaign in Pennsylvania, and used the lever of popular, bipartisan support to pry the bill loose from U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s hold in the Senate. Coburn is a Republican from Oklahoma, a physician, and an ardent advocate of spraying DDT. He had placed a hold on the bill in committee, stopping all action under the Senate’s rules of profound deference to members.

The swell of popular support made clear by Altmire’s campaign appears to have persuaded Sen. Coburn to allow the bill to move. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent on August 3, 2007, and got President Bush’s signature on August 9. These sorts of honorary bills generally are not targeted for political points. That Coburn allowed the bill through suggests a good deal of maturation as a senator on Coburn’s part.

Below the fold, Rep. Altmire’s press releases on the bill’s passing the Senate, and on President Bush’s signing the bill.

Photo below: Rachel Carson, birding, on a ridge (in Pennsylvania); photo originally found at site of Professor Catherine Lavender, The College of Staten Island of CUNY.

Rachel Carson, birding at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Rachel Carson, birding at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

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