Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Treasury Secretary Nominee Lawrence Summers and Environmental Racism

StoryJune 16, 1999
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said yesterday that a dispute between Republicans and President Clinton that threatened to delay the confirmation of Lawrence Summers as Treasury Secretary may be settled within two weeks.

Senate Republicans have threatened to block all presidential appointments–including Summers’–in protest over Clinton’s surprise appointment of an openly gay San Francisco philanthropist as ambassador to Luxemburg. The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing tomorrow for Summers’ nomination to the post vacated by Robert Rubin.

Summers surrounded himself with controversy in 1991, when a memo he wrote as chief economist for the World Bank was leaked to the environmental community. The memo advocated exporting "dirty industries" and toxic waste from rich countries to developing countries.

Summers wrote: "Shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDC’s [less developed countries]?" and added "I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted." The memo rationalized sending toxic waste to developing countries by saying "the concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where under 5 mortality is 200 per thousand."


  • Alexander Cockburn, journalist, writer and editor of Counterpunch, a weekly political newsletter.

Related link:

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation