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The Environmental Costs of Economic Stimulus

Environmental regulations might take a back seat in some states as lawmakers struggle to create new jobs and boost their local economies, reports the Associated Press.

In California, lawmakers relaxed environmental laws for road projects and construction equipment in the name of economic stimulus as part of a recently approved budget package. In Idaho, lawmakers shut down new regulations for septic-tank drain fields because they feared it would hinder Idaho's economy, especially during a recession.

Utah is even considering a company's offer to take nuclear waste in exchange for needed cash. In Kansas, lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would pave the way for coal-fired power plants in the southwest part of the state — though Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has promised a veto.

"Nobody is out to trash the environment," Montana state Sen. Greg Barkus told the AP. "But we need to move. This economy is scaring the dickens out of me, and a lot of other people."

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