FROM Sean Hecht
Trump and the environment President Trump has struggled to deliver on campaign promises like health care and immigration, but he’s delivered on climate. In just a few months, Trump has rolled back environmental and climate protections, installed climate deniers at the head of major agencies, and approved huge oil pipelines.
How Trump's budget affects housing and the environment in California President Donald Trump released his budget blueprint today. Proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and public education could deal a painful blow to California. Trump’s blueprint is so extreme that some top Republicans are pushing back against parts of it.
California Court Limits Environmental Review The state law that developers fear most is California's Environmental Quality Act, or “CEQA.” Environmentalists often site it when they go into court to challenge proposed projects. Last week, the State Supreme Court issued a ruling that limited the scope of CEQA. Sean Hecht, co-executive eirector of UCLA's Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, has more on the ruling.
Cleaning Up Exide, after Decades of Pollution and Misconduct For decades, there've been reports of toxic contamination from the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon. Finally, after the threat of federal prosecution, Exide has been shut down — with promises of demolition and cleanup. That's not due to action by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control, which allowed Exide to operate without a permit for more than 20 years.
As the Oceans Rise Up, What Must Come Down? Students of climate change say that Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call, not just for New York and New Jersey, but for California as well. And even if climate change is not really caused by greenhouse emissions, there’s no doubt that ocean levels are rising.
Proposition 26 Proposition 26 on next week's ballot would re-label what now are called "fees," "levies" and other assessments and call them "taxes" instead. That means passage would require two-thirds super-majorities in the legislature, instead of the current 51 percent. Fees for air and water pollution, oil-spill clean-up, tobacco and alcohol would be affected. We get two perspectives on the initiative.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?