Regs Talk: The CSS Blog

Blogs are authored by CSS affiliated policy experts and have been reprinted with permission. If you would like us to share your blog entry with our readers, please email David Rosen at drosen@citizen.org. To find older blogs, please use our site’s search engine.

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National Farmworker Awareness Week Blog: Heat Stress Is an Increasing Risk for Farmworkers

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By Farmworker Justice The last few years have been the hottest on record, and scientists predict that temperatures will continue to climb. These high temperatures put farmworkers at increased risk for heat related illnesses, including heat stress and heat stroke. Heat related...
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Regulators Must Stop Non-Coronavirus Rulemaking Now

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By Better Markets Today, Better Markets joined a coalition of dozens of public interest organizations calling on agencies and other federal government bodies to suspend all rulemakings that are not connected to the response of COVID-19.  The health and welfare of the American...
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Under the Cover of COVID, Polluters Seek Free Pass to Pollute

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By Keith Rushing, Earthjustice Polluting industries are lobbying the government to loosen restrictions and waive monitoring requirements. HOW ARE POLLUTING INDUSTRIES EXPLOITING THE CRISIS? As governments struggles to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic, polluters sense an...
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Trump Administration Endangers the Lives of Health Care Workers

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists First responders and health care workers throughout the US are currently facing extreme shortages of the equipment they need to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. The shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE,...
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Three Steps for an Expert Response to COVID-19

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By Sidney Shapiro and Liz Fisher, Center for Progressive Reform Whatever one’s political views, the end goal regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) is the same – to minimize the number of people dying and suffering from severe disease. As commentators have repeatedly noted,...
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We Need a Czar to Protect Health Care Workers

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By Debbie Berkowitz, National Employment Law Project The President is now calling the fight against the coronavirus a war. But in what kind of war do we send in troops without any armor? Our brave first responders and health professionals are working without the protective gear...
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UCS to Host Virtual Public Hearing on EPA Science Rule

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EPA is rushing through a proposal to transform how science is used in agency decisions and scientific assessments. The EPA is giving the public just 30 days to comment on the proposal...
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Coronavirus Pandemic Reinforces the Need for Cumulative Impacts Analysis

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By Darya Minovi, Center for Progressive Reform As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the globe, the inequalities in American society have come into even sharper relief. People with low incomes who are unable to work from home risk being exposed to the virus at...
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Federal Food Assistance During the Pandemic

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By Dr. Steve Suppan, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy You look for good news wherever you can find it. The heroic actions of health workers, school administrators, scientists, private food shelf operators and their volunteers. Federal Judge Beryl Howell, who ordered a...
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With the Public Distracted, Interior Department Moves Full Speed Ahead on Oil and Gas Leases

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By Maria Caffrey, Union of Concerned Scientists We are currently in a state of national emergency thanks in no small part to the Trump administration’s muzzling of public health experts and slow response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all do our part to limit the extent of this...
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CPR, Allies Call on Trump Administration to Hold Open Public Comment Process During COVID-19 Pandemic

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Earlier this week, a group of 25 Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) Board Members, Member Scholars, and staff signed a joint letter urging Russell Vought, Acting Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to...
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EPA Proposes Broad Science Restrictions in Midst of Coronavirus Pandemic

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists The Environmental Protection Agency moved today to restrict the types of research that can be used in public health protection decisions and scientific assessments. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency is...
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Zombie Industry Science and Consumer Protection Don’t Mix

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By Dr. Pasky Pascual and Jennifer Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council A rather arcane and largely discredited chemical industry-sponsored publication is still circulating, zombie-like, at the Trump Administration’s EPA science meetings, despite being basically dead among...
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PJM’s Costly Capacity Cushion

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By Casey Roberts, Sierra Club The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recent “Minimum Offer Price Rule” order has grabbed headlines for how it will hike electricity costs for 65 million people in the mid-Atlantic region and Ohio Valley to finance a coal and gas bailout. But by...
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Amplifying or Absorbing Shocks in Financial Markets?

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By Dr. Steve Suppan, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy On March 9, IATP submitted its first regulatory letter of the year to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Some of our letters have and will concern agricultural price risk management and prevention of...
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Monarch Butterfly Numbers Fall Again

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By Sylvia Fallon, Natural Resources Defense Council The annual measurement of the eastern monarch butterfly population that overwinters in Mexico is reported to be 2.83 hectares this year. That is a 53% decrease from last year’s more robust population of 6.05 hectares. After a...
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It’s the Economy, Sonny: Why the Coronavirus Demands Maximum SNAP Benefits Now

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By Rebecca Boehm, Union of Concerned Scientists Over the last three years the Trump administration and its Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have gone straight for the jugular of our country’s social safety net. Through a series of new rules, they have sought to cut people...
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Court Requires EPA to Protect Communities Against Worst-Case Chemical Spills

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By Natural Resources Defense Council On Thursday, a federal district court required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue long-overdue protections against worst-case scenario spills of hazardous materials, like in the case of extreme storms, fires, or flooding. The...
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Lunch in the Time of COVID-19: What Schools Need Now to Ensure Kids Don’t Go Hungry During a Pandemic

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By Karen Perry Stillerman, Union of Concerned Scientists Regular readers will know that I take a pretty dim view of the Trump administration’s Department of Agriculture and many of its anti-science, anti-farmer, and just plain mean-spirited actions over the past three years. The...
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Proposed NEPA Rule Changes

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By Sharon Buccino, Natural Resources Defense Council What They Do and Ways to Respond Background In passing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) over 50 years ago, Congress made it the “continuing responsibility of the Federal government to . . . fulfill the...
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CFPB’s First Director, Richard Cordray, Publishes ‘Watchdog’

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG The CFPB’s first director, Rich Cordray, has published a book, “Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy,” explaining efforts to set up and run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau....
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FDA Studies: ‘Short-Chain’ PFAS Chemicals More Toxic Than Previously Thought

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By David Andrews, Environmental Working Group New studies by the Food and Drug Administration indicate that a common fluorinated chemical in food packaging and stain-resistant carpets and textiles is much more toxic than earlier studies by the chemical industry suggested. The FDA...
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Environmental Racism in Action: The Trump Administration’s Plans to Gut NEPA

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By Derrick Z. Jackson, Union of Concerned Scientists The Trump administration is trying mightily to gut the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that mandates rigorous, science-based environmental impact reviews for major infrastructure and construction...
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Trump USDA Commemorates National School Breakfast Week by Declaring Potatoes a Fruit

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By Sarah Reinhardt, Union of Concerned Scientists It’s National School Breakfast Week, and the Trump administration is celebrating by rolling back science-based nutrition standards that are keeping kids healthy at school. (Not that it takes a special occasion to pull the plug on...
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Trump Labor Rule Undermines Employment Service

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By Pablo Ros, AFSCME AFSCME was founded in Wisconsin in 1932 to promote, defend and enhance the state’s civil service system, which was at risk of exploitation by politicians seeking to reward their supporters. Ninety years ago, in the Midwest, we knew this much: any government...
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How Can Legal and Regulatory Enforcement Help Communities at Risk from the Climate Crisis?

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By Matt Schudtz, Center for Progressive Reform From the farm fields of California to the low-lying neighborhoods along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, structural racism and legally sanctioned inequities are combining with the effects of the climate crisis to put people in...
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The EPA’s Rule to Restrict Science Could Compromise Your Confidential Research Data

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists It is a nice story that the tobacco industry came up with in the 1990’s – in order to be transparent, scientific studies informing policies affecting the tobacco industry should be “sound.” And tobacco companies could better...
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EPA Doubles Down on Its Attempt to Censor Science

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By Vijay Limaye, Natural Resources Defense Council The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 censoring science proposal aimed to undercut the agency’s application of landmark public health science by severely restricting its use in decision making. The proposal wa...
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EPA Moves to Handcuff Its Scientists

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced plans to restrict how science can inform decisions on air pollution, chemical safety, vehicle emissions, and more. EPA political leaders want the option to force agency...
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Most Fuel-Efficient Cars: a Win for Consumers’ Pockets, the Economy, and Climate, but What’s Next?

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By Dave Cooke, Union of Concerned Scientists Every year, the EPA puts out a report on compliance with the current vehicle efficiency standards, and the technology trends helping to improve the fuel economy of new vehicles sold. That report shows that fuel economy is at its...
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Activists Rally at the Supreme Court to Protect the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

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By Charlie Everett, People For the American Way On March 3, People For the American Way staff and members joined coalition partners and activists for a rally at the Supreme Court to urge the Court to protect millions of American consumers from the financial industry and big...
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The Trump EPA Is Restricting EPA Science. It’s Somehow Worse Than We Expected.

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By Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists Yesterday the Trump administration issued a supplemental notice to a draft rule long feared by many in the public health and scientific communities as a major disruption to science-based policy as we know it. Purported to be...
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Senators Must Stop Nancy Beck’s Playbook for Undermining Science

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists President Trump has nominated Dr. Nancy Beck for the role of chair and commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an agency charged with “protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death” related to the use...
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10 Years After Deepwater Horizon, Oil Spills and Accidents Are on the Rise

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By Matt Lee-Ashley, Center for American Progress On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon killed 11 men and injured 17 other crew members. Over the next 87 days, an estimated 210 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of...
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Science, Denied, Again. Interior Department Adds Inaccurate Climate Change Info to Reports

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By Maria Caffrey, Union of Concerned Scientists The New York Times reported this week that a senior employee at the Department of the Interior (DOI) is pressuring scientists to include inaccurate information about climate change in agency reports. So far at least nine different...
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Trump Administration Ignores Worker Safety in Pursuit of Offshore Oil Profits

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By Jacob Carter, Union of Concerned Scientists Recent reports show that political appointees at the Department of the Interior (DOI) ignored experts who opposed issuing a rule rolling back safety measures for offshore oil rig workers. This is not the first time, however, that...
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After Three Years of Trump, the Kids Are Not Alright

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By Ketura Persellin, Environmental Working Group Three years into President Trump’s administration, the Union of Concerned Scientists, or UCS, has taken an in-depth look at the impact on children’s health. The findings are bleak. “The federal government has traditionally worked...
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The Trump Administration Has Hindered Our Ability to Effectively Respond to the Coronavirus Epidemic

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By Anitka Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists “At the start of every disaster movie, there is a scientist being ignored.” – 2017 March for Science protest sign The novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, may be the most intense international public health crisis seen in the last...
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Communities of Color Bear the Brunt of Trump’s Anti-Environmental Agenda

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By Amy Patronella and Saharra Griffin, Center for American Progress President Donald Trump has claimed that from his first day in office, his administration “has made it a top priority to ensure that America has among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.” In...
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Will the Supreme Court Create a Pathway to Autocracy in Consumer Protection Agency Case?

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By David Driesen, Center for Progressive Reform On March 3, the Supreme Court will hear a plea to invent a new rule of constitutional law with the potential to put an end to the republic the Constitution established, if not under President Trump, then under some despotic...
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The Endangered Species Act Is Under Attack

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By Earthjustice Recognizing that extinction is irreversible, the United States did in 1973 what no country had done before, establishing a commitment to protect and restore the species that are most at risk of extinction. The Endangered Species Act is one of the mo...
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Sabotaged Science in the Arctic Refuge: Interior Department Works to Undermine Its Own Scientists

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By Joel Clement, Union of Concerned Scientists It’s been a long, tough road for scientists during the Trump administration—particularly those at the sprawling Department of the Interior. Interior scientists have been reassigned and marginalized by political appointees, their...
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There’s Nothing “Mini” About the U.S. Plan to Unravel Europe’s Precautionary Principle

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By Sharon Anglin Treat, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy The real goal of the United States and European Union’s so-called “mini-deal” on trade is unambiguous and goes to the heart of Europe’s way of life and approach to the rule of law. U.S. trade negotiators,...
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Proposed NEPA Rule Changes

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By Sharon Buccino, Natural Resources Defense Council What They Do and Ways to Respond Background In passing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) over 50 years ago, Congress made it the “continuing responsibility of the Federal government to . . . fulfill the...
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Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Frontline Communities Sue DOD Over PFAS Chemicals

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By Sonya Lunder, Sierra Club Last week, the Sierra Club joined a lawsuit with Save Our County, Community In Power and Development, and United Congregations of Metro East, represented by Earthjustice, to halt the reckless incineration of toxic PFAS-based fire fighting foams under...
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DOE Under Secretary Misses the Efficiency Standards Facts

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By Ashley Leung, Natural Resources Defense Council What saves money for Americans, reduces climate-warming emissions, and keeps getting delayed by the Trump administration? Appliance and equipment efficiency standards! Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary Mark W. Menezes...
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We Can’t Turn Our Backs on the Birds

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By Larissa Liebmann, Waterkeeper Alliance Whether it’s identifying the birds visiting a feeder outside a window, watching ducks float along a city park pond, or spotting a glimpse of an eagle on the riverside, birds so often play a significant role in strengthening our connection...
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Let the Children Breathe Particulate Matter: How the Trump Administration’s Polluted Policies Are Hurting Children

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By Derrick Z. Jackson, Union of Concerned Scientists Let the children suffocate. That is the vicious message from President Trump in his proposed budget cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency for fiscal year 2021. As the Union of Concerned Scientists last week issued its...
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A Crisis Just Under the Surface: Stopping the Alarming Loss of Freshwater Biodiversity

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By Christopher Williams, American Rivers At American Rivers, we go about our work with an optimistic, can-do spirit. Clean water, healthy rivers, and thriving communities are our watchwords. We are happy warriors for rivers and streams, and we celebrate – rightly so – the...
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From School Lunch to SNAP, New Attacks on Kids’ Health and Nutrition

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By Karen Perry Stillerman, Union of Concerned Scientists Life comes at you fast, and so does the Trump administration’s ongoing assault on children’s health. Over the last many months, my colleagues in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy have been...
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Lead Contaminated Water: EPA’s Proposal Fails Our Kids

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By Erik D. Olson and Valerie Baron, Natural Resources Defense Council We have learned from the ongoing lead in water crises in Flint, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, DC, for example, that no community and no child is exempt from the threat of lead-tainted water....
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Blowing the Cover Off the “Cleanest Air” Sparkle of the Trump Administration

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By Julie McNamara, Union of Concerned Scientists First, a fact: People want clean air. And who can blame them—in the United States more than 100,000 people still die from air pollution each year. Notably, the Trump administration is right there with them, repeatedly claiming to...
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Are Your Children Vaping? On Vaping and a Need for Science-Based Policy

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By Jacob Carter, Union of Concerned Scientists Teens and young adults across the country are dying from vaping. Yet, the Trump administration has chosen not to take the appropriate steps to fix this pandemic. First planning a sweeping ban on all flavored vape products across the...
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“Navigable Water Protection Rule” Guarantees Widespread Pollution of Our Nation’s Waters

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By Kelly Foster, Waterkeeper Alliance Reversing more than 40 years of progress and settled law, on January 23, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps announced a new regulation that removes clean water protections against discharges of pollution into rivers,...
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Court Rebukes EPA’s Ban on Independent Science Advisors

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists A court this week found serious flaws in the EPA’s exclusion from its advisory committees of academic and non-profit scientists holding grants from the agency. After permitting these eminent scientists to serve (for free!) for...
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The Trump Administration’s Disappointing Efforts to Prevent Lead Poisoning in Children

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists One of the longest running epidemics in the history of the US is the poisoning of our children with lead. But, as we discuss in our new report on children’s health, the Trump administration is failing to enact or enforce...
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Trump’s NLRB Earns an ‘F’ for Proposing to Take Away Graduate Student Workers’ Rights

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By Anastasia Christman, National Employment Law Project Last fall, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “the Board”) published a notice that sounds a lot like a logic test from school: it intended to make a new rule that students on private college or university campus...
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One Year Into Trump’s PFAS Action Plan, Few Signs of Progress

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group Friday marks one year since the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its latest plan to address the crisis of the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS, which have likely contaminated a majority of drinking water supplies...
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A DOE Budget for a Dirty Energy Future

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By Arjun Krishnaswami, Natural Resources Defense Council President Trump has once again proposed to slash the budget for clean energy innovation at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), eliminate several highly successful programs, and cancel funds that Congress gave the agency in...
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Ask a Scientist: How Trump Administration Policies Harm Children

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By Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists At the March for Life rally in Washington a few weeks ago, President Trump declared that “unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.” Defender? In fact, a number of his administration’s anti-environmental...
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Clean Air vs. Dirty Interference

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By Vijay Limaye, Natural Resources Defense Council The Trump administration continues its assault on clean air this week, by convening a group of handpicked advisers in a sham review process. It’s another sad chapter in this administration’s corrupt partnership with corporate...
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An Attack on Common Sense: Don’t Let the Trump Administration Kneecap NEPA!

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By Christopher Williams, American Rivers When Trump administration Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas industry lobbyist, celebrates a proposed regulation as “really, really big…affect[ing] virtually every single decision by the federal government that...
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The Trump Administration’s Attacks on Science Are Putting Kids in Harm’s Way

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists The Trump administration has abandoned our nation’s mission of protecting kids based on the best evidence. From unsafe strollers to harmful chemicals, the Union of Concerned Scientists illustrates the harms, figuratively and literally,...
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An Analysis of OHV Recalls: Increasing Number of OHVs Pulled From Market Due to Safety Concerns

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By Rachel Weintraub, Consumer Federation of America A Consumer Federation of America (CFA) analysis of off highway vehicle (OHV) recalls found that over the past 10 years, there have been 110 OHV recalls, and the number of recalls has increased from two recalls in 2010 to 17...
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Asbestos, Ubiquitous and Avoidable, Is a Deadly Threat to Our Kids

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By Derrick Z. Jackson, Union of Concerned Scientists In the United States, gun violence kills nearly 40,000 people a year and has killed nearly 40,000 or so children and teenagers since 1999, and yet the nation is still without serious gun control. Another 40,000 people die each...
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International Examples Offer U.S. a Blueprint for Aquaculture Regulation in 2020

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By Hallie Templeton, Friends of the Earth For many years, powerful corporations, assisted by the very U.S. agencies tasked with protecting and managing our ocean resources, have collectively been pushing for development of industrialized fish farms off the coasts of our shoreline...
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New Trump Rules Are a Sneak Attack on Medicaid

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By Lee Goldberg, AFL-CIO There are the things politicians say, and then there are things they do. When Donald Trump was running for office, he promised there would be no cuts to Medicaid. As president, he promised “health care for everyone.” His aides promised “no one will lose...
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Narrow Definition of Waters Covered Under the Clean Water Act Puts All Our Waters at Risk

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By Ellen Simon, Waterkeeper Alliance The Trump administration’s new unscientific, illegal, narrowed definition of waterways protected by the Clean Water Act is a threat to waterways throughout the United States. The definition excludes ephemeral streams, which flow only briefly...
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Trump Administration Officially Invites Polluters Into Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

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By the Natural Resources Defense Council In another grotesque attack against our public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today finalized plans to allow drilling and other extractive activities in previously protected areas of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand...
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The EPA’s New Shameful Tactic: Avoid People Poisoned by Coal Ash

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists Imagine you live next to a coal-fired power plant. Near the power plant, you may have seen heavy machinery dumping loads of greyish substance into an open pit or a pond. You learn that the greyish stuff is called coal ash, a...
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We’re Learning More About the Health Harms of Air Pollution

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By Kim Knowlton and Vijay Limaye, Natural Resources Defense Council Inhaling polluted air causes physical and mental harms. We all know that air pollution hurts our lungs, but a new review of the science highlights evidence of more far reaching effects—including on our mental...
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In the Fight to Clean Up Coal Ash, These States Are Making Progress

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By Emilie Karrick Surrusco, Earthjustice When coal is burned to produce electricity, a toxic waste known as coal ash is left behind.  Filled with chemicals such as arsenic, radium, and other carcinogens, coal ash poisons our water, sickens our bodies, and kills fish and wildlife....
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The Deregulatory Dictionary: Defining Anti-Regulatory Buzzwords Used by the Right

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By David Rosen and Matt Kent, Public Citizen With President Donald Trump’s war on regulation kicking into high gear, corrupt administration officials, anti-regulatory ideologues and industry lobbyists are eager to hide what they’re up to and how it will harm the public. Often,...
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Gina McCarthy to Congress: We Must Act Boldly on Climate to Protect Public Health

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By Gina McCarthy, Natural Resources Defense Council Today I’m testifying in front of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to make clear that the biggest public health threat we face today is climate change. And here’s what I plan to make clear: The longer we wait to...
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House Oversight Shines Light on EPA’s Use of ‘Mercury Math’ to Justify Dangerous Rollback That Hurts Kids

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform On Thursday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine the harm to children posed by the Trump administration’s attack on one of the most wildly successful clean...
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Raw Sewage and Forever Chemicals: The Trump Administration’s Growing Waterworld Debacle

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By Derrick Z. Jackson, Union of Concerned Scientists The evidence is already spewing in about how foul our water will be under the Trump administration’s new water rules. In late January, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler officially removed protection...
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Wrecking the BLM From Within

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By Vince Bielski, Sierra Club William Perry Pendley, the self-proclaimed “Sagebrush Rebel” from Wyoming who’s shaking up the Bureau of Land Management, may be headed for reappointment without any public scrutiny. The dustup over Pendley began in July, 2019, when he became acting...
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Jacobs Is Unfit to Lead NOAA

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By Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists Late Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a batch of emails between high-level agency officials around Sharpiegate; BuzzFeed broke the news. Most of the emails are further verification of...
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EPA Finds Neonics Are Risky Business — But Plans to Approve Anyway

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By Lucas Rhoads, Natural Resources Defense Council After a lengthy and long-delayed review of neonicotinoid insecticides, or neonics, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its findings this week, acknowledging that it had previously underestimated the serious risks...
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The Proof Is in the Pudding: Wading Into Fossil Fuel Company Reports

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By Nicole Pinko, Union of Concerned Scientists Every February through May, I sequester myself away to read company reports from major fossil fuel companies. It usually gets off to an exciting start in early February when ExxonMobil and Chevron relea...
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Trump Continues Pushing for Needless Bird Deaths

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By Katie Umekubo, Natural Resources Defense Council The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose a rule embracing Trump administration rollbacks of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s essential protections for birds. Flock of American Coot/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The Trump...
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Opposing Industry-Cost-Only Analysis as a Trojan Horse to Kill Critical Rules

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By Better Markets Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) sounds good and neutral.  After all, who could oppose only doing something when the benefits outweigh the costs?  The fatal flaws in a cost-benefit framework only appear when the assumptions underlying the analysis are identified: ...
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A New Trump Administration Plan Threatens the Health of Millions of Medicaid Recipients

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By Dorianne Mason, National Women’s Law Center A new Trump Administration plan to convert Medicaid funding into limited block grants threatens the health of millions of Medicaid recipients. Medicaid is a vital source of health coverage for millions of low-incom...
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The Shocking Attack on Bank Supervision by the Fed’s Vice Chair for Supervision

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By Better Markets The Federal Reserve failed miserably in the years before the 2008 crash.  The facts are pretty clear that the crash could have been largely avoided, or at least substantially reduced in severity, if the Fed had even done a modest job in monetary policy,...
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Trump Targets the Heart of U.S. Environmental Law

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By Jonathan Hahn, Sierra Club In 2017, in the kind of ruling that may not happen in the future, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had improperly downplayed the enormous climate impacts of the $3.5...
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Goldman’s 20-Year RAP Sheet of Illegal Behavior Reviewed as it Reveals its Plans for Targeting Main Street

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By Better Markets Goldman Sachs is holding its very first investor meeting in New York today where it is expected to disclose its business plans for targeting Main Street consumers and investors in the coming years.  We thought this was an appropriate time to detail Goldman’s...
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The Bully in the Lunchroom: The U.S. Moves to Weaken Mexico’s New Junk Food Labeling Law

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By Sharon Anglin Treat, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy I suppose you have to give the junk food industry credit for persistence. The industry’s proposed junk food provisions in the New NAFTA, known in the United States as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, went down...
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Stopping Crooks From Keeping the Money They Rip Off From Investors

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By Better Markets One of the most basic principles of law is that – not matter what else –– a crook should and must give up the money he or she took from the unsuspecting victims, often called “ill-gotten gains.”  That is the legal concept of “disgorgement” and it is...
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Trump’s Dirty Water Rule: EPA Ignorance Is Polluters’ Bliss

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By Jon Devine, Natural Resources Defense Council On January 23, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers unveiled a regulation that dramatically restricts what kinds of water bodies the Clean Water Act protects. The rule excludes rain-dependent streams...
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In 2021, Let’s Set the Bar Higher for Our Government

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists A new Union of Concerned Scientists report released today provides recommendations for the next administration on how to restore science in policymaking. One element of ensuring independent science informs decisions is blocking...
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Half of CFPB Complaints in 2019 About Credit Reports as House Brings Reforms to the Floor

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG On Wednesday, 29 January, the full U.S. House is expected to vote on a broad credit reporting reform package, HR3621, the Comprehensive CREDIT Act. Meanwhile, a PIRG analysis finds that half of all complaints reported into the CFPB’s Public...
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How Environmental Justice Became a Matter of Governance

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists “All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” One of the leaders of the civil rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer, famously said these words during the 1964 Democratic National Convention to...
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America’s Wetlands: Vital, Ignored and Now Defined Away by the Trump Administration

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists Last week, the Trump administration finalized its rollback of the expanded definition of the waters of the United States. Now fewer water bodies, including wetlands and ephemeral streams, will be protected under the Clean Water Act....
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Undermining a Fundamental Law

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By Larissa Liebmann, Waterkeeper Alliance Since 1970 the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been a vital tool for the public to ensure that decisions made by federal agencies that impact the environment are made in a transparent, well-informed manner. NEPA requires...
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Five Quotes Capturing the Debate Over Dietary Guidelines

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By Sarah Reinhardt, Union of Concerned Scientists Last week in Houston, a federal advisory committee convened for the fourth time to deliberate the science that will shape the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Revised every five years to reflect current science, these...
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The CFPB’s Disappointing Abusiveness Policy Statement

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By Jeff Sovern, St. John’s University School of Law On Friday, the CFPB issued a Policy Statement on Abusive Acts or Practices. The Policy Statement is disappointing in several respects. First, it is intended to address a problem that has never been shown to exist. The...
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With Trump’s NEPA Rollback, It’s Conservatives Against Conservatives

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform When the Trump administration released its recent proposal to gut the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), it trumpeted the action as a long-overdue step to “modernize” the law’s implementation by...
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The Trump Administration’s New Housing Rules Will Worsen Segregation

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By Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute In “The Neighborhoods We Will Not Share,” an article published online at The New York Times, I describe how the Trump administration has proposed a rule that will make it virtually impossible to challenge many policies that...
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EPA’s New Water Rule a Mockery of Science and the Clean Water Act

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By Derrick Z. Jackson, Union of Concerned Scientists With the Environmental Protection Agency’s own data showing that nearly half of our rivers and streams and a third of our wetlands are in “poor biological condition,” and with millions of Americans exposed ...
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Trump Cars Rollback Is a Dangerous Mess

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council When the Trump administration proposed its ridiculous rollback of clean car standards in 2018, it pretended that the increased costs for drivers at the pump, the loss of jobs and devastating pollution impacts were worth it...
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