US Politics in Trump era Public date: 19.09.2019 21:40:40

18 Sep 2019

Trump administration to revoke California’s power to set stricter auto emissions standards

The Trump administration plans to revoke California’s right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light trucks , according to two senior administration officials, as part of a larger effort to weaken an Obama-era climate policy aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s auto fleet.
The Trump administration plans to revoke California’s right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Sep 2019

Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections

The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit.
The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

29 Aug 2019

Blackstone CEO Is Driving Force Behind Amazon Deforestation

Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention.
Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Aug 2019

Trump Administration Weakens Protections for Endangered Species

The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction.
The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied,...
13 Aug 2019

Trump’s EPA Sides with Water Polluters in Major Case

If you like sewage, chemical wastes or radioactive molecules in your drinking water the Trump Administration has your back. It’s part of Team Trump’s determined efforts to remake the Environmental Protection Agency into the Environmental Pollution Agency. Soon the U.S. Supreme Court, urged on by Team Trump, may give its stamp of approval to effectively undo many benefits of the 1972 Clean Water Act in a case from the Hawaiian island of Maui.
If you like sewage, chemical wastes or radioactive molecules in your drinking water the Trump Administration has your...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Jul 2019

Automakers, Rejecting Trump Pollution Rule, Strike a Deal With California

Four of the world’s largest automakers, including the Ford Motor Company, have struck a deal with California to reduce tailpipe pollution, in a setback to the Trump administration as it prepares to weaken national emissions standards and revoke states’ rights to set their own such rules.
Four of the world’s largest automakers, including the Ford Motor Company, have struck a deal with California to reduce...
23 Jul 2019

EPA’s watchdog is scrutinizing ethics practices of agency’s former air policy chief

A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal watchdog for his dealings with industry players who lobbied the government to ease carbon pollution limits. It is the third inquiry into whether Bill Wehrum, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy division from November 2017 until last month, violated federal ethics rules.
A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Jul 2019

E.P.A. Plans to Curtail the Ability of Communities to Oppose Pollution Permits

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to weaken rules that for the past quarter-century have given communities a voice in deciding how much pollution may legally be released by nearby power plants and factories.
The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to weaken rules that for the past quarter-century have given...

Publisher: EcoWatch

Author:

29 Jun 2019

EPA Air Quality Chief Resigns Over Ethics Investigation

So little time, so much damage done. That's the legacy left by Bill Wehrum who spent only one and a half years as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) top air quality official before announcing that he will step down this weekend under the cloud of a federal ethics investigation over possible conflicts of interest. His resignation follows conflicting statement he made to Congress about his industry connections, according to Politico.
So little time, so much damage done. That's the legacy left by Bill Wehrum who spent only one and a half years as the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 Jun 2019

83 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump

President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses.
President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

7 Jun 2019

Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Mean ‘Untenable’ Instability and Lower Profits

Many of the world’s largest automakers joined together Thursday to tell President Trump that one of his most sweeping deregulatory efforts — his plan to weaken pollution standards for automobiles — threatens to hurt their profitability and produce “untenable” instability in one of the nation’s most important manufacturing sectors.
Many of the world’s largest automakers joined together Thursday to tell President Trump that one of his most sweeping...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

28 May 2019

Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science

President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, brushed aside dire predictions about the effects of climate change, and turned the term “global warming” into a punch line rather than a prognosis.
President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord,...

Publisher: LA Times

Author:

23 May 2019

Trump’s ‘pro-life’ administration just killed a program on children’s health

For more than 20 years, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health have partnered to fund a unique nationwide program studying environmental impacts on children’s health. No more. The Trump administration is zeroing out the EPA contribution to the program, forcing many of the 13 university-based research centers to curtail their multiyear projects and leaving the NIH to scramble for a rescue plan.
For more than 20 years, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health have partnered to...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

11 May 2019

Trump Administration Plans to End Some Protections for Endangered Species After UN Report Warns of ‘Mass Extinction Event’

A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at risk of extinction and that biodiversity was declining at an “unprecedented pace,” but David Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, said this dire portrait won’t stop the Trump administration from ending protections for endangered species in the United States.
A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at...
6 Mar 2019

Issuing ‘Death Sentence’ to Gray Wolves, Trump Admin Moves to Gut Federal Protections

Conservation groups were up in arms Wednesday after the Trump administration moved to strip federal protections from gray wolves. "This disgusting proposal would be a death sentence for gray wolves across the country," said Collette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The Trump administration is dead set on appeasing special interests that want to kill wolves."
Conservation groups were up in arms Wednesday after the Trump administration moved to strip federal protections from...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

9 Feb 2019

Trump Quietly Planted a Top Koch Official Inside the E.P.A. | Vanity Fair

Of all the federal agencies that fall under Donald Trump’s purview, none embodies the administration’s unofficial mandate to do the exact opposite of its stated mission quite like the Environmental Protection Agency.
Of all the federal agencies that fall under Donald Trump’s purview, none embodies the administration’s unofficial...
16 Jan 2019

A Coal Baron’s Takeover of the EPA Is Nearly Complete

A few weeks after President Donald Trump moved into the White House, he received a memo from one of his biggest campaign donors: Robert Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, America’s largest private coal company. Emblazoned with the words “Action Plan,” it was essentially a wish list of all the environmental regulations Murray wanted Trump to get rid of.
A few weeks after President Donald Trump moved into the White House, he received a memo from one of his biggest campaign...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 Jan 2019

U.S. Carbon Emissions Surged in 2018 Even as Coal Plants Closed

America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a preliminary estimate published Tuesday. Strikingly, the sharp uptick in emissions occurred even as a near-record number of coal plants around the United States retired last year, illustrating how difficult it could be for the country to make further progress on climate change in the years to come, particularly as the Trump administration pushes to roll back federal regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions.
America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

29 Dec 2018

E.P.A. Proposes Rule Change That Would Let Power Plants Release More Toxic Pollution

The Trump administration announced on Friday a plan designed to make it easier for coal-fired power plants, after nearly a decade of restrictions, to release into the atmosphere more mercury and other pollutants linked to developmental disorders and respiratory illnesses.
The Trump administration announced on Friday a plan designed to make it easier for coal-fired power plants, after nearly...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Dec 2018

President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment Is Affecting Communities Across America

In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow. The trade-offs, while often out of public view, are real — frighteningly so, for some people — imperiling progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, and in some cases upending the very relationship with the environment around us.
In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

8 Dec 2018

Trump’s EPA plans to lift CO2 limits on coal power plants

The Environmental Protection Agency, now led by acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has announced more rollbacks regulations on coal-fired power plants. It’s a striking move for two big reasons: No new coal plants are being built in the US, and the EPA itself (along with 12 other federal agencies) recently put out a sweeping report detailing the need to reduce emissions from fossil fuels because of the grave threat of climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency, now led by acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Dec 2018

In the Blink of an Eye, a Hunt for Oil Threatens Pristine Alaska

The biggest untapped onshore trove of oil in North America is believed to lie beneath the refuge’s coastal plain along the Beaufort Sea. For more than a generation, opposition to drilling has left the refuge largely unscathed, but now the Trump administration, working with Republicans in Congress and an influential and wealthy Alaska Native corporation, is clearing the way for oil exploration along the coast.
The biggest untapped onshore trove of oil in North America is believed to lie beneath the refuge’s coastal plain along...
13 Nov 2018

Ryan Zinke and the environment: a tragedy in three acts

If Zinke deserves credit for one thing during his tenure as secretary, it’s for his acting skills, and he was in effect handed a brand new “script” when he took office as interior secretary. This script was written by his oil, gas and mining associates and their mouthpiece organizations. It was a script for a provocative new tragedy in three acts, and his job was to do as the script says.
If Zinke deserves credit for one thing during his tenure as secretary, it’s for his acting skills, and he was in...

Publisher: VICE

Author:

6 Nov 2018

The EPA’s Climate Change Page Is Just Gone Now

EPA.gov pages that previously provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are "updating" to an error message that reads, "We want to help you find what you are looking for," as revealed by a report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. The change indicates that information related climate change is not being “updated,” but removed entirely.
EPA.gov pages that previously provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

28 Oct 2018

Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on Public Lands

The parade of trailer trucks rolling through Jay Butler’s dusty ranch is a precursor to a new fracking boom on the vast federal lands of Wyoming and across the West. Reversing a trend in the final years of the Obama presidency, the Trump administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights to oil and gas developers, a central component of the White House’s plan to work hand in glove with the industry to promote more domestic energy production.
The parade of trailer trucks rolling through Jay Butler’s dusty ranch is a precursor to a new fracking boom on the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Sep 2018

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air

The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere.
The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

21 Aug 2018

Zinke caught red-handed trying to sell off public lands

Environmental groups caught the Department of the Interior trying to sell off part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, despite a pledge by Secretary Ryan Zinke never to put public lands up for sale After massive backlash from environmental groups and the public, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) late Friday canceled all plans to sell off the land.
Environmental groups caught the Department of the Interior trying to sell off part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante...

Publisher: LA Times

Author:

21 Aug 2018

Trump administration’s rewrite of Clean Power Plan will be a boon to the coal industry

The Trump administration is poised Tuesday to unveil a sweeping rewrite of emissions rules for power plants that would be a boon to the coal industry, laying the groundwork for a revival of the most polluting facilities and abandoning Obama-era mandates for reorienting the electricity sector toward clean energy.
The Trump administration is poised Tuesday to unveil a sweeping rewrite of emissions rules for power plants that would...
20 Jul 2018

Endangered Species Act stripped of key provisions in Trump administration proposal

President Trump’s administration unveiled a proposal Thursday that would  strip the Endangered Species Act of key provisions, a move that conservationists say would weaken a law enacted 45 years ago to keep  plants and animals in decline from going extinct.
President Trump’s administration unveiled a proposal Thursday that would  strip the Endangered Species Act...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

12 Jul 2018

The real story behind Trump’s pardon of Oregon ranchers

President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. But the details of Trump’s move indicate he is less interested in reversing an unjust sentence than he is in giving a thinly-veiled “attaboy” to a small group of heavily armed chaos agents who seek to undermine the federal government’s proper role in managing public lands all across the western U.S.
President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

6 Jul 2018

E.P.A. Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns Under a Cloud of Ethics Scandals

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and architect of President Trump’s aggressive effort to rewrite the government’s rule book on environmental  regulations, resigned on Thursday in the face of numerous ethics investigations that doomed his tenure. Despite Mr. Pruitt’s efforts to nurture a close relationship with the president, Mr. Trump himself announced the resignation in a tweet sent from Air Force One. He thanked Mr. Pruitt for an “outstanding job” and said the agency’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, would take over as the acting administrator on Monday.
Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and architect of President Trump’s...
26 Jun 2018

Trump administration plan to mine near popular Minnesota wilderness area sparks multiple lawsuits

Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in an effort to stop plans to allow mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. These ares of land were set to be banned to industry activities under the Obama administration.
Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in an effort to stop plans to allow...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 Jun 2018

The Chemical Industry Scores a Big Win at the E.P.A.

The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show.
The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

2 Jun 2018

A Courtside View of Scott Pruitt’s Cozy Ties With a Billionaire Coal Baron

The E.P.A. chief, who has reversed Obama-era rules on coal mining, enjoyed a superfan experience at a University of Kentucky basketball game — courtesy of an industry executive. But there was more to the game last December than a superfan experience for Mr. Pruitt and his son, who joined him. They sat in seats belonging to Joseph W. Craft III, a billionaire coal executive who has engaged in an aggressive campaign to reverse the Obama administration’s environmental crackdown on the coal industry. Mr. Craft and his wife donated more than $2 million to support President Trump’s candidacy and inauguration.
The E.P.A. chief, who has reversed Obama-era rules on coal mining, enjoyed a superfan experience at a University of...
2 Jun 2018

The Trump administration is paying off his supporters

Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators  to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants in an effort to extend their life, a move that could represent an unprecedented  intervention into U.S. energy markets.
Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators  to buy electricity from struggling...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

18 May 2018

Worried About a ‘Public Relations Nightmare,’ White House and EPA Aides Worked to Block Contaminated Water Study

Political appointees at the White House and Environmental Protection  Agency worked to block the publication of a federal study that found dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in water supplies, according to a new report from Politico.
Political appointees at the White House and Environmental Protection  Agency worked to block the...

Publisher: Independent

Author:

12 May 2018

Trump cancels NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system after scrapping clean air regulation

Donald Trump has cancelled NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system, prompting concern it will hinder efforts to bring down global emissions. The space agency’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) has until now used satellite and aircraft instruments to monitor carbon dioxide and methane levels remotely - spending $10m (£7.35m) each year.  But the White House has now scrapped the funding as part of its wider attack on climate science.
Donald Trump has cancelled NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system, prompting concern it will hinder efforts to bring...
4 May 2018

How Scott Pruitt Helped Arkansas Poultry Giants Pollute One of Oklahoma’s Prettiest Rivers

Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the side of poultry companies and other businesses in Arkansas in a dispute over the pollution of an ecologically sensitive and economically vital watershed, environmental groups say. While he was representing Oklahoma as its attorney general, Pruitt helped to slow the implementation of a plan, forged years ago by both states, to clean a  river in his home state.
Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the side of poultry companies and...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

1 May 2018

U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s oil refinery

The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The regulation is meant to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports and support corn farmers by requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of biofuels into the  nation’s gasoline and diesel each year.
The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of...
28 Apr 2018

EPA announces an end to California’s fuel economy waiver day after Pruitt says the opposite

Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the agency did not have plans “at present” to target California’s special fuel economy waiver, the Trump administration announced that it would be putting a six-year hold on Obama-era standards for fuel efficiency, starting in 2020, while at the same time revoking California’s waiver to set its own standards.
Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that...
3 Apr 2018

Scott Pruitt’s Dirty Politics

Pruitt and his admirers call this approach “E.P.A. originalism”—a nod to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and his reading of the Constitution. The idea is that Pruitt is sticking to “traditional” priorities, such as cleaning up Superfund  sites and contaminated drinking-water supplies, rather than focussing on newer and broader environmental threats, such as climate change.
Pruitt and his admirers call this approach “E.P.A. originalism”—a nod to the late Supreme Court Justice...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

31 Mar 2018

Scott Pruitt, E.P.A. Chief, Rented Residence From Wife of Energy Lobbyist

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, rented a residence in Washington in 2017 that was partly owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist whose firm, according to disclosure forms, conducted business before the E.P.A. that same year.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, rented a residence in Washington in 2017 that...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

30 Mar 2018

E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient

The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, handing a victory to car manufacturers and giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide.
The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken...
6 Mar 2018

Senior EPA press official has a side job as an outside media consultant

Two senior Environmental Protection Agency political appointees — including one who personally supervises every grant the agency awards to  or solicits from outside groups — got approval from the agency’s ethics office to continue to collect outside income while working for the Trump administration.
Two senior Environmental Protection Agency political appointees — including one who personally supervises...
13 Feb 2018

Trump budget seeks 23 percent cut at EPA, eliminating dozens of programs

The White House is seeking to cut more than $2.5 billion from the annual budget of the Environmental Protection Agency — an overall reduction of more than 23 percent. The fiscal 2019 proposal released Monday marks the Trump administration’s latest attempt to shrink the reach of an agency the president once promised to reduce to “little tidbits.” The EPA already has lost hundreds of employees to  buyouts and retirements over the past year, and its staffing is now at  Reagan-era levels.
The White House is seeking to cut more than $2.5 billion from the annual budget of the Environmental Protection Agency...
2 Feb 2018

White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration’s preference for fossil fuels

The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts  to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documentsobtained by The Washington Post.
The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts  to the Energy...

Publisher: Bloomberg

Author:

23 Jan 2018

Trump’s Tariffs on Solar Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet

President Donald Trump dealt his biggest blow to the renewable energy industry yet.On Monday, Trump approved duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made outside the U.S., a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply.
President Donald Trump dealt his biggest blow to the renewable energy industry yet.On Monday, Trump approved duties of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

5 Jan 2018

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling

The Trump administration will allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States waters, it announced Thursday. The plan would give the energy industry broad access to drilling rights in most parts of the outer continental shelf, including Pacific waters near California, Atlantic waters near Maine and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The Trump administration will allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States waters, it announced...
3 Jan 2018

Trump’s true priorities revealed in holiday news dumps

In the week that followed, Trump kept giving his members new reasons to  celebrate. While cable news fixated on how much he was golfing –  his political appointees back in Washington worked overtime to deconstruct the administrative state, eviscerate several of Barack Obama’s signature achievements and roll back significant environmental protections. Like Richard Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell said, watch what they do — not just what they say. Trump campaigned like a populist. Now more than ever, he’s governing like a plutocrat.
In the week that followed, Trump kept giving his members new reasons to  celebrate. While cable news...
31 Dec 2017

How Scott Pruitt turned the EPA into one of Trump’s most powerful tools

Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been embroiled in an enforcement battle with a Michigan-based company accused of modifying the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without getting federal permits for a projected rise in pollution. On Dec. 7, as the Supreme Court was considering whether to hear the case, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memo that single-handedly reversed the agency’s position. No longer would the EPA be “second-guessing” DTE Energy’s emission projections.
Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been embroiled in an enforcement battle with a...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

27 Dec 2017

Trump to slash safety regulations put in place after nation’s worst environmental disaster

During the Obama administration, the federal government took action to prevent another Deepwater Horizon-sized oil spill, widely viewed as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. After taking office, the Trump administration immediately began making plans to relax certain offshore drilling rules implemented after the 2010 disaster.
During the Obama administration, the federal government took action to prevent another Deepwater Horizon-sized oil...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Dec 2017

New York’s Attorney General in Battle With Trump

Eric Schneiderman’s office recently took legal or administrative action against “the biggest threat” to New Yorkers: the federal government. By moving to sue the Federal Communications Commission over net neutrality this month, his office took its 100th legal or administrative action against the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. His lawyers have challenged Mr. Trump’s first, second and third travel bans and sued over such diverse matters as a rollback in birth control coverage and a weakening of pollution standards.
Eric Schneiderman’s office recently took legal or administrative action against “the biggest threat” to New...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Dec 2017

E.P.A. Officials, Disheartened by Agency’s Direction, Are Leaving in Droves

More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking  the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.Of the employees who have quit, retired or taken a buyout package since the beginning of the year, more than 200 are scientists.
More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Dec 2017

Trump Says His Regulatory Rollback Already Is the ‘Most Far-Reaching’

President Trump on Thursday said his administration was answering “a call to action” by rolling back regulations on environmental protections, health care, financial services and other industries as he made a push to showcase his accomplishments near the end of his first year in office.
President Trump on Thursday said his administration was answering “a call to action” by rolling back...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

4 Dec 2017

Trump Slashes Size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Monuments

The decision to reduce Bears Ears is expected to set off a legal battle  that could alter the course of American land conservation, putting dozens of other monuments at risk and possibly opening millions of preserved public acres to oil and gas extraction, mining, logging and other commercial activities.
The decision to reduce Bears Ears is expected to set off a legal battle  that could alter the course of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Nov 2017

Nebraska Regulators Approve Alternative Route for Keystone XL Pipeline

Nebraska regulators on Monday allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to  clear its final major hurdle, granting a victory to President Trump and  Republicans who have for years pressed for the project. But the pipeline company will not be allowed to build along its preferred route, the regulators announced, opening up new questions about how the project will proceed.
Nebraska regulators on Monday allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to  clear its final...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Nov 2017

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

About 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and  emergency workers scrambling to the site. “This is not a little spill from any perspective,” said Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
About 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Nov 2017

U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump Officials

Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.
Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies...
25 Oct 2017

Democrats Are Letting the Climate Crisis Go To Waste

What should be a sparkling  opportunity to push forward an ambitious agenda on climate — to condemn Republicans for not just ignoring but fueling a crisis with increasingly  human and economic consequences — is going quite literally up in smoke.  Even the most dogged climate champions in Congress are doing something Republicans would never dream of: letting a crisis go to waste.
What should be a sparkling  opportunity to push forward an ambitious agenda on climate —...

Publisher: NYTimes

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23 Oct 2017

E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists

Organizers of a Monday conference on the Narragansett Bay were told three E.P.A. scientists would not be allowed to present their work. Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.
Organizers of a Monday conference on the Narragansett Bay were told three E.P.A. scientists would not be allowed to...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Oct 2017

Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots

The E.P.A.’s abrupt new direction on legacy chemicals is part of a broad initiative by the Trump administration to change the way the federal government evaluates health and environmental risks associated with  hazardous chemicals, making it more aligned with the industry’s wishes.
The E.P.A.’s abrupt new direction on legacy chemicals is part of a broad initiative by the...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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14 Oct 2017

Trump’s pick to run White House environmental office says more CO2 is good for humanity

President Donald Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a fringe player in the climate debate who promotes the idea that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is good for humanity, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality on Thursday. Hartnett White, a senior fellow and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the fossil-fuel funded Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), has questioned the scientific consensus that human activities are the major driver of catastrophic climate change. She has described efforts to combat climate change as primarily an attack on the fossil fuel industry.
President Donald Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a fringe player in the climate debate who promotes the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Oct 2017

E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule

The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, setting up a bitter fight  over the future of America’s efforts to tackle global warming.
The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

5 Oct 2017

Trump Takes a First Step Toward Scrapping Obama’s Global Warming Policy

The Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan, the  centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to fight climate change, and will ask the public to recommend ways it could be replaced, according to  an internal E.P.A. document.
The Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan, the  centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to fight...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Oct 2017

E.P.A. Chief’s Calendar: A Stream of Industry Meetings and Trips Home

Since taking office in February, Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. chief has held back-to-back meetings, briefing sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with  environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates, according to a 320-page accounting of his daily schedule from February through May, the most detailed look yet at what Mr. Pruitt has been up to since he took over the agency.
Since taking office in February, Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. chief has held...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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30 Sep 2017

Perry proposes law to force Americans to buy dirtier, costlier power

To make his case, Perry has fabricated an economic threat to U.S. grid reliability from cheap renewables and then proposed a rule to account for the imaginary reliability benefit of other electricity sources — all the while ignoring the actual health and environmental costs of carbon pollution from burning coal that aren’t priced in to the market yet.
To make his case, Perry has fabricated an economic threat to U.S. grid reliability from cheap renewables and then...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

23 Sep 2017

How Exxon Mobil May Soon Have Greater Sway Over Science Used in EPA Policies

The list of potential candidates for the EPA's scientific advisory boards includes many oil and gas industry representatives and consultants. While industry has always had a voice on those panels, comments from the Trump administration and the potential new appointees suggest the balance may soon change in favor of greater power for regulated companies, particularly the oil and gas industries.
The list of potential candidates for the EPA's scientific advisory boards includes many oil and gas industry...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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5 Sep 2017

Trump names climate science denier to run NASA – ThinkProgress

In a Friday night news dump, the White House announced that President Donald Trump Plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), a climate science denier to be administrator of NASA. Bridenstine is a politician without any scientific credentials, unlike previous NASA chiefs, and for that reason his nomination has already been criticized by both Florida’s senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D), Politico reports. Rubio said, “I just think [his nomination] could be devastating for the space program.”
In a Friday night news dump, the White House announced that President Donald Trump Plans to nominate Rep. Jim...

Publisher: NYTimes

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12 Aug 2017

Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say

Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied,  even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security. A former Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the E.P.A., and whose LinkedIn profile still describes him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” Mr. Pruitt has made it clear that he sees his mission to be  dismantling the agency’s policies — and even portions of the institution itself.
Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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29 Jul 2017

House slashes funding for clean energy, restores funding for fossil fuel research

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a large spending  bill for fiscal year 2018 that slashes clean energy spending and  approves keeping fossil fuel research at current levels.
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a large spending  bill for fiscal year 2018 that slashes...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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25 Jul 2017

Perry study backfires again: Draft praises efficiency standards he is stalling

A leaked draft study of the electric grid requested by Energy Secretary Rick Perry found that federal energy efficiency policies are in the process of saving U.S. consumers and businesses more than a half trillion dollars. Meanwhile, the new administration is halting energy efficiency policies and gutting funding for energy efficiency improvements for American homes. Perry’s department is currently being sued by 11 states for stalling efficiency mandates for air conditioners and other high-energy products.
A leaked draft study of the electric grid requested by Energy Secretary Rick Perry found that federal energy efficiency...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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21 Jul 2017

Repeal of Obama-era environmental rules dominates Trump’s regulatory agenda

This week, the Trump administration defied its “America  First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make it easier for companies to hire guest workers from foreign countries. The Trump Organization is already poised to benefit from it. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workersfrom 66,000 visas per year to 81,000. On Thursday — just three days later — Trump’s properties told the Department of Labor that they wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using those visas.
This week, the Trump administration defied its “America  First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make...
20 Jul 2017

I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration.

On July 19, the former top climate policy official at the Department of Interior filed a complaint and a whistleblower disclosure form with the Office of Special Counsel. The official, Joel Clement, says the Trump administration is threatening public health and safety by trying to silence scientists like him. I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.
On July 19, the former top climate policy official at the Department of Interior filed a complaint and a whistleblower...
18 Jul 2017

While You Were Busy Watching Don Jr., You Missed Some Interesting Trump Administration Nominees

President Donald Trump is slowly working his way through nominating people for posts related to Western natural resources and the environment; several nominations came down this week. There are more than 1,200 White House appointees that must be vetted by Senate committee, then confirmed by a majority of the full Senate.
President Donald Trump is slowly working his way through nominating people for posts related to Western natural...
4 Jul 2017

Federal court blocks Trump EPA on air pollution

An appeals court Monday struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s 90-day suspension of new emission standards on oil and gas wells, a decision that could set back the Trump administration’s broad legal strategy for rolling back Obama-era rules. In a 2-to-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the EPA had the right to reconsider a 2016 rule limiting methane and smog-forming pollutants emitted by oil and gas wells but could not delay the effective date while it sought to rewrite the regulation.
An appeals court Monday struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s 90-day suspension of new emission...
28 Jun 2017

EPA seeks to scrap rule protecting drinking water for third of Americans

The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to dismantle the federal clean water rule, which protects waterways that provide drinking water for about a third of the US population. The EPA, with the US army, has proposed scrapping the rule in order to conduct a “substantive re-evaluation” of which rivers, streams, wetlands and other bodies of water should be protected by the federal government.
The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to dismantle the federal clean water rule, which protects...
27 Jun 2017

The Trump Administration Just Greenlit a Project That Will Devastate California’s Most Fragile Ecosystems

Over the strong objections of environmental groups and concerns raised by some of their own scientists, federal wildlife agencies on Monday approved the construction of $14-billion set of tunnels that will on average divert 20 percent of the California’s ecologically sensitive Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to Southern California cities and farms.
Over the strong objections of environmental groups and concerns raised by some of their own...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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1 Jun 2017

EPA halts Obama-era methane emissions rule for oil and gas industry

The  Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt on  Wednesday to an Obama-era rule created to reduce methane leaks from new  and modified oil and natural gas drilling wells. The action places a 90-day stay on portions of the rule, set in 2016, that requires oil and gas companies to detect and repair leaks of methane and other air pollution at new operations.
The  Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt on  Wednesday to an Obama-era...
25 May 2017

There’s Finally a Dollar Amount Attached to How Much Trump Hates the EPA

President Donald Trump reserves a special level of antipathy for the Environmental Protection Agency. He campaigned on eliminating the EPA "in almost every form," and his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, declared that its climate change programs "waste your money." But his full budget wish list released Tuesday actually assigns a dollar value to his promises. In it, the EPA faces the steepest cut of any agency or department across the government, a 31.4 percent reduction, to $5.7 billion, its lowest level in 40 years.
President Donald Trump reserves a special level of antipathy for the Environmental Protection Agency. He campaigned on...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 May 2017

How Rollbacks at Scott Pruitt’s E.P.A. Are a Boon to Oil and Gas

Mr. Trump and his team believe that loosening the regulatory grip on business will help the economy, create jobs and allow Americans “to share in the riches,” as he said during the campaign. But in the energy field, environmentalists, Democrats and even some in the industry fear  the efforts will backfire, harming health and safety without creating much economic benefit.
Mr. Trump and his team believe that loosening the regulatory grip on business will help the...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

13 May 2017

Trump’s EPA stabs Alaskans in the back with mining reversal

Plans to mine alongside Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, where half the world’s salmon are fished, had appeared dead in the water in recent years. Not anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency has dropped a regulatory plan that would have protected Bristol Bay from the planned Pebble Mine, encouraging the project’s backers to seek permits and move forward.
Plans to mine alongside Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, where half the world’s salmon are fished, had appeared dead...
10 May 2017

EPA dismisses half of key board’s scientific advisers; Interior suspends more than 200 advisory panels

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department are  overhauling a slew of outside advisory boards that inform how their agencies assess the science underpinning federal policies, the first step in a broader effort by Republicans to change the way the federal government evaluates the scientific basis for its regulations.
Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department are  overhauling a slew of outside...
25 Apr 2017

Donald Trump to turn off EPA’s data service, one of government’s most important websites

Donald Trump is to shut down one of the government's most important data services. The Environmental Protection Agency's Open Data Web service – which stores information on climate change, life cycle assessment, health impact analysis and environmental justice – is to have its funding removed and will no longer be in operation, according to people working  on the plan. A pop-up on the site appears to confirm the shutdown, with  anyone visiting the Open Data page told that the site will not be operational from Friday.
Donald Trump is to shut down one of the government's most important data services. The Environmental Protection...

Scott Pruitt calls for an ‘exit’ to the Paris accord, sharpening the Trump administration’s climate rift

President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from the historic Paris agreement Thursday, the first time such a high-ranking administration official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change.
President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

6 Apr 2017

Koch Brothers’ Operatives Fill Top White House Positions, Ethics Forms Reveal

If the billionaire Koch brothers turn to the White House for favors, they will see many familiar faces. Newly disclosed ethics forms reveal that a significant number of senior Trump staffers were previously employed by the sprawling network of hard-right and libertarian advocacy groups financed and controlled by Charles and David Koch, the conservative duo hyper-focused on entrenching Republican power, eliminating taxes, and slashing environmental and labor regulations.
If the billionaire Koch brothers turn to the White House for favors, they will see many familiar faces. Newly...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

10 Mar 2017

EPA chief doubts carbon dioxide’s role in global warming

He told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was "very challenging" and there was "tremendous disagreement" about the issue. Mr Pruitt instead insisted that officials needed "to continue the debate" on the issue. His remarks contradict his own agency's findings on greenhouse gas emissions. 
He told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was "very challenging" and there was "tremendous...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

6 Mar 2017

Leashes Come Off Wall Street, Gun Sellers, Miners and More

In a flurry of deregulation, the Trump administration has already suspended or reversed more than 90 rules. And industry is clamoring for more. Telecommunications giants like Verizon and AT&T will not have to take “reasonable measures” to ensure that their customers’ Social Security numbers, web browsing history and other personal information are not stolen or accidentally released.Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will not be punished, at least for now, for not collecting extra money from customers to cover potential losses from certain kinds of high-risk trades that helped unleash the 2008 financial crisis.
In a flurry of deregulation, the Trump administration has already suspended or reversed more than 90 rules. And industry...
4 Mar 2017

White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is in the crosshairs of the White House. The White House is seeking to slash the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget by 17 percent, imposing big cuts to research and satellite programs, according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is in the crosshairs of the White House. The White House is seeking...
4 Mar 2017

‘Just racist’: EPA cuts will hit black and Hispanic communities the hardest

Planned cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency are set to fall heaviest upon communities of color across the US that already suffer disproportionately from toxic pollution, green groups have warned. Proposal would remove environmental justice office, tasked with bridging gap in pollution in black, Hispanic and low-income areas and wealthier white ones
Planned cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency are set to fall heaviest upon communities of color across the US...
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