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Urban Revitalization, Toxics Security, and Wal-Mart Banking

Revitalizing existing existing urban areas is a key part of achieving energy independence for our country —and two new reports, "Federal Policy Ideas for Community Revitalization" from the Northeast-Northwest Institute and Unleashing the Potential of American Cities" from the Brookings Institute give local planners new tools for pursuing that goal.

If you worry that toxic chemical plants near your home are a target for terrorism, a new report on "Preventing Toxic Terrorism" gives the good news that hundreds of facilities have switched to less hazardous processes, but also the bad news that thousands of other facilities remain unchanged and still threaten our communities — and government have yet to act to require less hazardous conditions.

With Wal-Mart attempting to take over your local banking industry, a Financial Policy Forum report, Industrial Loan Banks: Regulatory Loopholes As Big As A Wal-Mart, will give you the intellectual ammunition to understand why allowing unregulated commercial entities into the banking sector is bad for the economy.