Over the decade since the Deepwater Horizon spill, thousands of scientists have analyzed its impact on the Gulf of Mexico. The spill affected many different parts of the Gulf, from coastal marshes to the deep sea.
At the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem, or C-IMAGE at the University of South Florida, marine scientists have been analyzing these effects since 2011. C-IMAGE has received funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative – a broad, independent research program initially funded by a US$500 million grant from BP, the company held principally responsible for the spill. Continue reading →
Demonstrators at an Earth Day 2017 event carry signs promoting science and challenging President Donald Trump’s agenda. (Photo: Takver/flickr/cc)
An organization launched in 2017 by former staffers of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency marked the 50th annual Earth Day Wednesday by releasing a report about the efforts of President Donald Trump’s administration to gut regulations enacted under his predecessors to preserve public health and the planet.
“The actions by the Trump administration to undermine environmental and public health protections are not acceptable,” Michelle Roos, executive director of the Environmental Protection Network (EPN), said in a statement. “Fortunately, EPN members, EPA alumni with decades of expertise and experience, have volunteered their time to detail how this administration is hurting people and the natural world on which we all depend.” Continue reading →
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Kathy Kraninger testifies during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Photo: C-SPAN screenshot
Amid an unprecedented economic crisis driven by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reportedly pushing ahead with a series of rule changes that watchdog groups say would reward predatory lenders and leave vulnerable people more susceptible to industry abuses at the worst possible time.
The American Bankerreported this week that the CFPB—headed by Kathy Kraninger, an appointee of President Donald Trump—is “moving forward with its payday lending and ‘qualified mortgage’ rules despite logistical issues and the industry’s focus on economic effects from the coronavirus pandemic.” Continue reading →
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are among those attending a bill signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Photo: White House/flickr
President Donald Trump’s Labor Department has quietly issued guidance informing most employers in the United States that they will not be required to record and report coronavirus cases among their workers because doing so would supposedly constitute an excessive burden on companies.
The new rules, released Friday by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), were met with alarm by public health experts and former Labor Department officials who said the new rules are an absurd attack on transparency that could further endanger frontline workers. Continue reading →
The Bank Policy Institute, a lobbying group for big banks, drew criticism for a policy memo suggesting financial deregulation as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Phillipp/Flickr/cc)
A lobbying group for big banks in the United States came under fire Tuesday from financial industry experts for pressuring federal officials to push through long-sought regulatory rollbacks in response to the worldwide economic concerns sparked by the global coronavirus outbreak.
Myron Ebell discusses withdrawing U.S.commitment to the Paris Climate Treaty on a panel on WUSA9 in 2017. Screenshot: YouTube
Watchdog group Western Values Project said Friday that audio it obtained of a June 2019 event at Trump’s Interior Department provides more evidence that public lands are under threat of being privatized by the former reality star and his crew of “anti-public land zealots.”
The event (pdf) in question was the American Agri-Women Symposium entitled “Federal Land Policies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” which took place at Interior’s Sidney Yates Auditorium. Myron Ebell—the climate crisis-denying former head of President Trump’s EPA transition team who serves as head of environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute—was keynote speaker. Continue reading →
Water rights and public health groups said Thursday that the EPA’s overhaul of the nation’s lead rules would not do enough to protect people from lead toxicity. (Photo: wonderisland/Shutterstock)
Public health groups that have waited decades for the federal government to overhaul its lead-in-water rules were outraged Thursday over EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s “wrongheaded” plan to update the regulations .
The overhaul, which Wheeler detailed at a press conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, does not include the removal of at least six million lead service lines that have been underground for decades. Continue reading →
Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear power plant near Russellville, AR. Photo: T-Town Photo Booth/flickr
After months of experts raising alarm over the nuclear power industry pressuring U.S. regulators to roll back safety policies, staffers at the federal agency that monitors reactors sparked concerns Tuesday with official recommendations that include scaling back required inspections to save money.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has spent months reviewing its enforcement policies—and, as part of that process, sought input from industry groups, as Common Dreamsdetailed in March. In response, the industry representatives requested shifting to more “self-assessments,” limiting public disclosures for “lower-level” problems at plants, and easing the “burden of radiation-protection and emergency-preparedness inspections.” Continue reading →
Mick Mulvaney press conference about President Donald Trump’s budget plan. Screenshot: YouTube
While President Donald Trump dominates national media with racist tweets and lies, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is quietly “building an empire for the right wing” and pushing Cabinet members to impose a radical and rapid deregulation agenda across the federal government, according to a new Washington Post report.
“If you’ve got a problem with radioactive waste, you could clean it up, a costly and onerous process, or you could just change the definition of it. Guess which one the Trump administration has decided to do?”
The Savannah River Site in South Carolina is one of three Defense Reprocessing Waste Inventories where the Department of Energy will be reclassifying nuclear waste as safer than it has for decades, allowing the government to dispose of the waste more easily and potentially posing a risk for the surrounding environment. (Photo: Savannah River Site/Flickr/cc)
In a move that will roll back safety standards that have been observed for decades, the Trump administration reportedly has plans to reclassify nuclear waste previously listed as “high-level” radioactive to a lower level, in the interest of saving money and time when disposing of the material.
The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to observe a new interpretation of which nuclear waste qualifies as “high-level waste,” which must be disposed of deep underground to avoid contaminating the surrounding environment. Under the new standards, radioactive materials at three nuclear sites will be classified as low-risk, enabling officials to dispose of the waste in shallow pits. Continue reading →