PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Losses of 2009

PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Losses of 2009
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Health Care, Economy Steal Environment's U.S. Political Momentum

Environmental issues were in the spotlight this year when U.S. President Barack Obama appointed leading scientists to top government posts, such as Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Administrator Jane Lubchenco.

But that light dimmed as the administration tackled a faltering economy, debated a national health care policy, and delayed action on an energy bill that would have curbed domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

"They've been able to devote less of their time and attention than much of the conservation community would have liked to see on the issue of climate," said Joshua Reichert, the managing director of the Pew Environment Group, a Washington, D.C.-based international environmental policy group.
—Photograph by Daniel Ochoa de Olza, AP
 
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