Republicans Block Gore's Live Earth in DC

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Republicans have stymied Al Gore's attempts to stage the July 7th Live Earth concert in the nation's capital. Planning continues for the seven-city, twenty-four-hour event -- Madonna confirms she will headline the London leg of the show at Wembley Stadium -- but the U.S. host city will no longer be D.C., after a series of apparently partisan moves blocked the event from two sites near the Capitol. In March, the National Park Service, a division of the Interior Department (headed by Bush appointee Dirk Kempthorne), denied organizers a permit to hold a concert on the Mall, citing an undisclosed previous reservation. Next, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Sen. Olympia Snow introduced a resolution allowing the concert to go forward on the Capito's west lawn. Organizers hoped the resolution would pass quickly, but Republican Sen. James Inhofe -- who has called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" -- vowed to stall the resolution indefinitely, describing Live Earth as a "partisan event." "It's unfortunate that Senator Inhofe used the rules of the Senate to block an event like this," says Jim Manley, an aide to Reid. "The environment is not a partisan issue."

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