On Wednesday, prime executives from a number of the largest U.S. mining firms descended on Washington to satisfy and greet members of the Trump administration working to undo laws which might be hampering, of their view, their business.
Three members of President Trump’s Cupboard went to Trump Worldwide Lodge — a resort whose administration was turned over to Trump’s sons and is leased from the federal government in an association that has raised ethics questions — to interrupt bread with members of the Nationwide Mining Affiliation, in line with a report from me and Juliet Eilperin.
The NMA drew the high-ranking officers to the autumn board of administrators assembly on Tuesday and Wednesday, together with:
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who headlined a common session on Tuesday morning.
- Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who that afternoon spoke with NMA members throughout a lunch sponsored by Jennmar Corp. and Royal Gold, a mining-equipment maker and treasured metals firm, respectively.
- And Power Secretary Rick Perry, who spoke on Wednesday morning at a breakfast sponsored by Komatsu Mining Corp., a mining division of a Japanese conglomerate.
Perry made no secret of his attendance:
Honored to talk to the Nationwide Mining Assn this morning. Our “all the above” method to #AmericanEnergy should embrace all the things under! pic.twitter.com/tGIZjnVSiQ
— Rick Perry (@SecretaryPerry) October four, 2017
It is price noting that the attendance of Cupboard-level officers on the NMA assembly just isn’t unusual: High-level Obama administration officers have attended the affiliation’s conferences prior to now, NMA spokesman Luke Popovich mentioned.
(Past that, NMA had “no comment on the board of directors meeting which, like virtually all such gatherings, is a private affair and its business confidential,” Popovich wrote in an e mail. Aides to Ross, Acosta and Perry all confirmed that the secretaries went to the assembly.)
However what’s noteworthy is that proven fact that the chief executives from a number of the largest U.S. mining companies selected to host the assembly at Trump’s resort at a time when his administration is rolling again many Obama-era laws that the business opposed.
Cash made by the Trump Worldwide Lodge goes right into a belief in Trump’s identify, fueling accusations that Trump is making the most of the presidency. Trump will not obtain direct proceeds from the thriving resort whereas in workplace. However in line with a monetary submitting, the president can draw cash from the belief “at his request.”
Environmentalists didn’t pull their punches concerning the assembly — and its location.
“After 9 months of relentlessly slashing clean air and clean water safeguards, it’s hard to tell the difference between the Trump administration and a conference full of wealthy corporate polluters,” mentioned Maura Cowley of the Sierra Membership, which focused the resort with a nighttime protest Tuesday.
Congress and the fossil gasoline business are shmoozing at Trump Tower inside whereas Puerto Rico sits in darkness #AJustRecovery pic.twitter.com/g4WAO4tc1j
— Sierra Membership (@SierraClub) October four, 2017
A number of chief executives of main NMA member firms — together with Bob Murray, who runs Murray Power, and Joe Craft, who runs Alliance Assets Companions — raised cash throughout the 2016 election for Trump, who ran on a platform of slicing again laws to create jobs.
This is an inventory of a number of the administration’s latest rollback pertaining to mining:
- In September, for instance, the Mine Security and Well being Administration, an company within the Labor Division, proposed enjoyable guidelines for inspections at mines for salt and different supplies. On the time, NMA praised the choice as “a step in the right direction.”
- In August, the Inside Division stopped a Nationwide Academies of Sciences examine on the native well being dangers of mountaintop coal mining that the business group mentioned “may be unnecessary.”
Who did not go to the assembly:
- Inside Secretary Ryan Zinke was initially scheduled to attend, however in line with the division’s deputy communications director, Russell Newell, he “is traveling and so was unavailable for the meeting.” Inside Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt attended Wednesday in his place.
- EPA chief Scott Pruitt was additionally not listed on the schedule. However Pruitt had traveled out of Washington to a different NMA assembly in April at a Ritz-Carlton golf resort in Naples, Fla.
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— Last whistle: After mulling an exit for months, a scientist whose place within the Inside Division was shuffled shortly after a public disclosure about how local weather change impacts Native Alaskan communities has resigned from his submit. Joel Clement was reassigned to an accounting place from his position as director of the Workplace of Coverage Evaluation in June. The company’s inspector common is investigating whether or not the reassignment was illegal. Clement is the second reassigned Inside staffer identified to resign, The Washington Submit’s Darryl Fears studies.
What he is saying on the skin: That these nonetheless inside Inside are “pissed” about Zinke’s feedback about staff not being “loyal to the flag.”
“Everyone seems to be pissed right here about his feedback about loyalty,” he mentioned. “It’s the thrill within the constructing. You hear snide remarks all day lengthy at how ludicrous that was. They clearly have misplaced respect for the management of that group.”
— Repeal and substitute, EPA version: The EPA is planning to intestine the Obama-era Clear Energy Plan and name for enter on a rule to switch it, in line with studies from Reuters and the New York Occasions. Draft paperwork that each information organizations received their palms on point out that the company will difficulty a proposal to repeal and substitute the rule regulating CO2 emissions from energy vegetation.
“Exchange” is a vital piece of this: Pruitt constructed his popularity as Oklahoma lawyer common by suing the EPA. Now as EPA administrator he’s making an attempt to keep away from those self same form of lawsuits from blue states. Although Pruitt has repeatedly rejected the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide emissions are driving local weather change, Pruitt is operating an company that should do precisely that — regulate CO2 emissions, although presumably with weaker guidelines— underneath an company willpower referred to as the endangerment discovering.
— Will not again down: Pruitt and Zinke haven’t any plans to pay again the federal government for the tens of hundreds of spent on constitution flights, which have drummed up latest controversy and led to the resignation of Well being and Human Companies Secretary Tom Worth.
The EPA mentioned 4 of the chartered flights have been accredited by ethics attorneys, in line with the Related Press. Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift advised the AP on Tuesday that all the secretary’s flights have been accredited by profession officers at Inside.
However strain for Cupboard members to pinch their pennies higher continues to be on. Within the signal that journalistic scrutiny of personal flights will not let up, Reuters reported on Wednesday that Perry took a chartered jet to Ohio final week — sooner or later after Worth’s resignation.
In the meantime, the chairman of the Home Pure Assets Committee is looking on Zinke to offer further details about the chartered flights. A letter from Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the chairman, and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) additionally asks for details about plane-use from Zinke’s predecessors, calling for “documents sufficient to identify each use of a government-owned, rented, leased or chartered aircraft by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior since January 20, 2009.”
What is going on on: Bishop and Westerman seem to wish to unravel an vital query within the flight fiasco — did President Obama’s individuals do it too? Numerous media shops quote Obama and Bush administration officers as saying that chartering so many flights is unprecedented. Now Home Republicans need numbers to again up or break down that declare — not less than with respect to Inside.
— Fireworks at a chemical nominee’s listening to: Michael Dourson, Trump’s decide to guide the EPA’s Workplace of Chemical Security and Air pollution Prevention confronted a grilling at his listening to in entrance of the Senate Atmosphere and Public Works Committee on Wednesday — particularly from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Watch under:
Requested Dourson right this moment: Given that you just took $ from flame retardant business, will you recuse your self from engaged on them? Refused to reply. pic.twitter.com/e1e0B8NaAq
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) October four, 2017
The Submit reported that critics cost that “Dourson, a University of Cincinnati professor and longtime toxicologist, is too closely tied to the chemical industry, and has too many conflicts of interest, to be considered for such a post.”
Throughout his listening to, Dourson defended his work.
“I’ve been goal in my work and utilized sound science to return to my conclusions,” he mentioned, per NBC Information. He refused to say whether or not he would recuse himself in EPA selections concerning chemical substances that business members have paid him to evaluate regardless of urging from committee Democrats. The committee didn’t vote on his nomination Wednesday.
— Endangered species, by the numbers: As a part of a deal between environmental teams and the Obama administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needed to resolve whether or not to checklist about 62 species by the top of September.
Nicely, September has come and gone, that means that determinations from Fish and Wildlife — now underneath new administration — are rolling in. This is what’s occurred to this point, from a report by Chris Mooney and me:
-This week, the company rejected 25 species from endangered species protections, together with some threatened by local weather change. These embrace the Florida Keys mole skink (a lizard), Bicknell’s thrush (a songbird) and the Pacific walrus.
-Including the 25 rejected in October to the 4 rejected in September, the whole variety of rejected species is now 29.
-Fish and Wildlife additionally determined to guard six species and delay selections on six extra.
Is there any rhyme or cause to the choices? Noah Greenwald on the Heart for Organic Variety didn’t see a sample within the protections and rejections, although he famous that one of many protected species, the Guadalupe fescue, is a kind of grass that grows solely in Huge Bend Nationwide Park — that means it doesn’t threaten any business operations. Equally, the ‘i’iwi (or scarlet honeycreeper) in Hawaii was protected — its vary is proscribed to mountaintops in Maui and the Huge Island and doesn’t threaten business, both.
— The fallout from Hurricane Maria and the Trump administration’s response in Puerto Rico continues: A brand new Related Press-NORC ballot reveals that simply 32 p.c of People assume that Trump has dealt with the disaster within the U.S. territory nicely, in contrast with 48 p.c who accredited of his dealing with of the response following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Submit’s Philip Bump notes that there’s been a distinction within the president’s public dealing with of the crises.
“It’s clear from Trump’s own public statements that he was more focused on the responses to Harvey and Irma than the response to Maria. He tweeted about the first two storms constantly before and after they made landfall. He didn’t tweet much about Maria until after he started to face criticism for his slow response — at which point his tweets tended to be heavily defensive,” Bump writes.
Trump despatched out a pair of tweets Wednesday morning criticizing the information protection of his go to:
A terrific day in Puerto Rico yesterday. Whereas a number of the information protection is Faux, most confirmed nice heat and friendship.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October four, 2017
Wow, so many Faux Information tales right this moment. It doesn’t matter what I do or say, they won’t write or converse fact. The Faux Information Media is uncontrolled!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October four, 2017
— Right here’s one other have a look at the Trump double take: The Submit’s Arelis R. Hernández and Jenna Johnson debrief on Trump’s four-hour cease on the storm-ravaged island in what was a rich San Juan suburb. Throughout his journey, the president referred to as the restoration “nothing short of a miracle” despite the vast majority of the island still being without power. He met with a homeowner who Hernández and Johnson write was never worried about his family’s safety. He surrounded himself with local officials who were “willing to back up his assertions.” “If the president had traveled a little deeper into the island, to the communities that sustained some of the heaviest damage, he would have witnessed a very different Puerto Rico,” they write.
— A number of different notes about Puerto Rico:
- The White Home formally requested practically $30 billion in new funding from Congress to answer hurricanes and wildfires. From The Submit’s Ed O’Keefe: “The emergency funding request comes as the Trump administration is responding to natural disasters in 20 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Topping the list of priorities is the ongoing response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, Hurricane Irma in Florida, and Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island territories. Wildfires also are burning across several states, including California and Montana.”
- Learn extra from The Submit’s Dan Lamothe on the highest U.S. common overseeing reduction in Puerto Rico. Military Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan advised Lamothe that “the military will establish numerous hospitals there in coming days, as thousands of additional troops and dozens more helicopters arrive.”
- Additionally price a learn: An intensive report from Reuters on the continual points plaguing Puerto Rico’s bankrupt utility system. The underside line: “Restoring the grid after the worst storm to hit here in nine decades would be a monumental task even for a well-run utility. It will be much harder for the chronically underfunded Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.” (We took a have a look at this difficulty in The Power 202 on Wednesday.)
- “Are you FEMA?”: Right here’s a heartbreaking dispatch from New York Occasions reporter Jeremy W. Peters, who traveled post-Maria to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the place he started his journalism profession 15 years in the past: “On three separate occasions, locals asked me plaintively, ‘Are you FEMA?’ Seeing my notebook and pen, they assumed I was someone official in a position to expedite the relief they had been waiting for — a tarp for their sheared-off roof, a personal hygiene kit, an answer to a question like when trash pickup would resume.”
— Mapping Greenland: The Submit’s Chris Mooney has taken a have a look at two research on Greenland that use mapping to offer new data on the world’s largest island. Listed below are a number of the takeaways from each research:
The Greenland ice sheet “is far more exposed to the planet’s warming oceans than previously known — and has more ice to give up than, until now, has been recognized.”
Your complete ice mass is able to contributing 24.three toes to the ocean stage, which is about three inches greater than was beforehand understood.
Between 30 and 100 p.c of glaciers are “potentially exposed to [warm Atlantic water] than suggested by previous mapping,” that means greater than half of Greenland’s ice “lies in or flows through areas that could be influenced by warming seas,” Mooney writes.
With all of the ice melting from the glaciers, river deltas are increasing, affirmation that Greenland has been dropping ice.
Huge new Greenland mapping missions produce shocking — and alarming – outcomes https://t.co/DxfGNGpYxN pic.twitter.com/LcJUZWTH15
— Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) October four, 2017
Superb photographs of Greenland’s rising river deltas launched with new analysis right this moment https://t.co/U9Ccc4UYQ0 pic.twitter.com/SGUnden4Ce
— Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) October four, 2017
One other beautiful Greenland river delta image from my story right this moment on mapping the large island https://t.co/NhfC20lqCV pic.twitter.com/tgE95MGuoF
— Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) October four, 2017
— Simply once you thought it could be over: The season’s 16th tropical despair strengthened right into a tropical storm this morning, per the Nationwide Hurricane Heart, and it may strengthen right into a hurricane and hit the U.S. Gulf Coast within the coming days. The storm is at the moment swirling close to the Nicaraguan coast and will strengthen right into a hurricane, which could possibly be referred to as Nate, by Sunday. The storm may make landfall on the coast between Louisiana and Florida, report Capital Climate Gang’s Brian McNoldy and Jason Samenow. There may be additionally a 30 p.c likelihood the storm disrupts the nation’s offshore power operations, Bloomberg Information studies. The storm may immediately have an effect on New Orleans, Cell, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., Apalachicola, Fla. and Tampa.
Right here’s a Wednesday view from NOAA’s GOES16 satellite tv for pc of the rising system:
NOAA’s #GOES16 captured Tropical Melancholy 16 within the SW Caribbean Sea this morning, 10/four/17. Updates: https://t.co/VTAp4gGkHs pic.twitter.com/6bAZSiD9eR
— NOAA Satellites PA (@NOAASatellitePA) October four, 2017
— What’s preserving Rex Tillerson on the State Division? Regardless of usually being undermined by his boss, Trump’s secretary of state once more insisted on Wednesday he’s staying put within the job.
One factor that could be giving Tillerson confidence, in line with a report from John Hudson at BuzzFeed Information, is a supposed “suicide pact” between him, Protection Secretary James Mattis and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin whereby the three “vow to depart within the occasion that the president makes strikes towards considered one of them.”
That concept gained numerous traction on social media. However Hudson additionally famous maybe an much more highly effective motivation — cash.
When Tillerson stepped down as chief govt of ExxonMobil, he lower monetary ties with the oil big, buying and selling his restricted inventory for $180 million to be vested over time. However meaning, in line with Fortune, if Tillerson “leaves the State Division and heads again to the oil business, he must forfeit a good portion of the cash. It might go to charity.”
— The gunman that killed dozens and injured tons of from his perch on the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas additionally used his 32nd ground suite to shoot at large aviation gasoline tanks. From the Las Vegas Overview-Journal: “The bullets left holes, but did not penetrate the two circular white tanks, sparing the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival from a potentially massive explosion, the source said Wednesday. The tanks are roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site, where Paddock killed 58 people and wounded almost 500. Within the past couple of days, construction crews repaired and painted the holes, and FBI agents inspected the tanks and took measurements of the line of fire from Mandalay Bay.”
As with so many different features of the Las Vegas capturing, the query that also must be answered concerning the pictures on the tanks is why.
— Right here’s an lovely teaser from The Oregonian on a coming collection about Nora the polar bear:
It’s laborious to inform the story of Nora the beloved polar bear with out speaking about her struggles being hand-raised by people, and even the influence people are having on the dwelling habitat of polar bears within the arctic.
Our five-part collection, ‘The Loneliest Polar Bear,’ is coming quickly. pic.twitter.com/QmRkvsRXdq
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) October 5, 2017
In the present day
The 2017 Conservative Clear Power Summit is continues.
The Environmental Regulation Institute holds an occasion on “How Agencies Reverse Policy.”
The Home Power and Commerce Subcommittee on Power holds a listening to on “Consumer-oriented perspectives on improving the nation’s electricity markets.”
- The Bipartisan Coverage Heart holds an occasion with former Power Secretary Ernest Moniz on October 18.
Struggling to breathe: The implications of life with out energy in Puerto Rico:
“TL;DR: Puerto Rico is not a colony. Deal with its individuals just like the People they’re:”
“A nation in mourning”: Trump visits Las Vegas:
President Trump says People “will all need to wrestle with the horror” of Las Vegas capturing:
Late-night reactions: The gun management debate:
From the Late Present with Stephen Colbert: “Did Rex Tillerson Name Trump A ‘Moron’ Or A ‘F***ing Moron’?:”