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.
Healthcare debate now shifts to the Senate Both parties are celebrating yesterday's House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Republicans are cheering because they were able to pass it. Democrats are happy because they think it's so bad. We look at the details… and the politics.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.