The Week in Review in Business and Industry, February 28-March 4

This week in the world of business and industry, we saw the effects of sport and recreation -- a multi-billion dollar industry in the US -- on the environment.

This week in the world of business and industry, we saw the effects of sport and recreation -- a multi-billion dollar industry in the US -- on the environment. All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use is blamed for much of the contamination in the Connecticut River; that story here: Connecticut River Advocates Take on Pollution, ATVs. A Southern California golf company is in trouble for bulldozing streams and an endangered species habitat in the course of building a golf course: California Golf Club Told it Dropped the Ball. On the stranger side, one Alabama law actually requires recreational fishermen to kill certain fish rather than throw them back in the water. That story: Alabama Lawmaker Targets Ugly Fish Law.

We brought you positive news from New York City -- car registrations there are down. The prohibitive cost of owning a car in the Big Apple is prompting more people to give up their vehicles altogether and turn exclusivelty to public transit. Read it here: Four New York City Boroughs Report Drop in Car Registrations. Other cities are joining the movement to entice people to use bus lines and subways rather than their cars. Boston, another dense, mass-transit-intensive city like New York, will offer cell phone and wireless internet access to four of its most crowded downtown stations (so waiting time in the station becomes productive for business). Much more suburban Atlanta will provide radio and television feeds to subway stations in order to make it's MARTA subways more pleasant, and hopefully increase ridership. That story is here: Atlanta Subways to Get TV, Radio Feeds.

The car-driving public however is enduring higher gas prices as the price of a barrel of oil started the week in the low $50 range (Oil Firm Near $52 as Cold Hits U.S. Northeast) but then topped off at $55 before softening a bit at week's end. The state of Washington considered adding ten cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline, but backed off somewhat: Washington State Gas Tax Plan Calls for Hike of 4 Cents. Perhaps that had something to do with hybrid cars making their second-best showing yet for US sales: February US Hybrid Sales Second-Strongest Ever. Interestingly, the hybrid that gets the best mileage, the Honda Insight at more than 60 mpg, only sells about 20 units per month. Clearly design and comfort aren't lost on the green car-buying public. Toyota's Prius rules the roost so far.

Nor surprising to ENN readers, the political and economic contests over the "black gold" continued in typical fashion this week. Malaysia and Indonesia clashed over oil production rights granted to giant oil concern Royal Dutch/Shell in a disputed offshore oilfield. Here is that story: Malaysian Leader Brushes Off Indonesian Protest on Disputed Offshore Oil Blocks. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardon joined the fray, as he criticized the federal government for not giving US governors a greater role in protecting the environment on federal land that is used for oil and gas drilling. That story is here: Richardson: Governors Should Have More Say About Drilling on Federal Land. And oil giant Exxon, which has tried to change its far-from-green image, looked like the Exxon of old as it claimed that petroleum-contaminated land would clean itself over time. Read that here: Fort Replicators Aghast at ExxonMobil Report.

On the positive side, businesspeople and researchers are working on ways to create cleaner fuel, such as biodiesel. Read about that effort here: Planned Biofuel Plant to Use Clarkson-Developed Technology. And, another major regulated power producer, this one in Oklahoma, will begin to purchase wind energy: AEP Gets Nod to Purchase Wind Power.

Also this week, we brought you a number of other varied stories about the effect of business on the environment:

Jury Deliberates Case of Alleged Clean Water Act Violation
Island-Building Covers Coral Reefs, Alters Gulf Environment
Towns Prepare for Coal Rebirth
Clean-up To Begin at Canada Mine Near Olympic Site

ENN is your comprehensive business news source as it relates to the environment. Every day we chronicle the effort to create a sustainable economy, so check back often for the latest news and information.