Unlimber That Gas Mask

Amidst all the attention grabbing stuff — you know, just a president accusing his predecessor of high crimes — the Trump administration proceeds with impressive consistency with moves designed to make the world worse, Americans sicker/poorer, and their inner circle enriched.

Next week, it’ll be the air-we-breathe’s turn:

The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming, according to people familiar with the matter, essentially marking a U-turn to efforts to force the American auto industry to produce more electric cars.

The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies.

During the same week, and possibly on the same day, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin the more lengthy and legally complex process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s rules to cut planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The regulatory rollback on vehicle pollution will relax restrictions on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and will not require action by Congress. It will also have a major effect on the United States auto industry.

I don’t want to go all-apocalyptic on this news, in part because I want to sleep more than four hours tonight, and more because there are some secular processes underway that reduce the impact of Trump’s and Republican willingness to destroy the climate and give Americans respiratory diseases — think the long-term losing market battle coal is waging against everything else, and the advances in transportation tech that will help mitigate the license to ill being granted the domestic auto industry. (I’d note that those car companies based in countries that do impose efficiency rules will now get an advantage over the big three that could very likely hit the domestic industry hard in a decade or less…rather like the way Japanese car companies were poised to take advantage of the oil shocks of the 70s, to great wailing and gnashing of teeth in Detroit.)

But even with that rather meagre reed of hope, there’s no way to spin this as anything but craptastic news for both the global and every local environment.

Every act this administration takes; every law this congress takes is the fruit of a poisoned tree: an election manipulated by foreigners, and undermined by domestic law enforcement.  There’s no room for negotiation here.  Step one: 2018.

Image: Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Gas masks for man and horse demonstrated by American soldierc. 1917-18

100 replies
  1. 1
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I wonder though, if it’s too late for that. There are millions of already compliant vehicles on the road and in the pipeline, and I’m sure the already compliant 2018 models are being manufactured as we speak. And nothing will make coal competitive again, not when it’s cheaper to pipe natural gas to the plants (no rail lines or heavy coal), or put up windmills. Even loosening standards require design changes that won’t even be done before 2020.

    And if the oil barons make gas $4-5 a gallon, as Putin probably needs to do in order to make his oil profitable, well Tesla and Volt are already out there, along with kits to convert from gas to electricity.

    Trump isn’t going to win this one.

    Another thing, with so much manufacturing already outsourced, we’ve already outsourced a great deal of the pollution as well. Those plants aren’t coming back either for a long time.

  2. 2
    Mickee says:

    How will ‘state’s rights’ play into this? So the federal regulations are cut, can individual states impose their own standards? These guys are all about giving power back to the states, right?

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    Agree this both horrid and sadly predictable. I expect yet another California-federal showdown over the state’s primacy WRT emission standards. We’ve been granted it due to establishing standards before the feds but this forthcoming fight may revolve around whether CO2 comprises “pollution.” Not sure we have another way to establish mileage standards. We also have ZEV sales targets coming.

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming, according to people familiar with the matter, essentially marking a U-turn to efforts to force the American auto industry to produce more electric cars.

    This is insane. I guess it’s a sop to the oil companies, because the auto industry can be just as profitable with electric vehicles as it can with gasoline engine vehicles.

    But it is depressing that Trump can just try to brush away the science behind environmentalism as though he is a willful child. This is worse than some of the religion based actions of the Bush administration because it cannot even try to hide behind a coherent world view. It is nothing more than the ignorant assertion of power, without regard to consequences.

  5. 5
    TriassicSands says:

    Jeebus, who hired this guy, Volkswagen?

    Even allowing for Trump’s profound stupidity and ignorance, this is a boneheaded move.

    What’s next? The Great Ozone Hole Expansion Executive Order?

  6. 6
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Nor is he going to derail the innovations that make appliances less of an energy suck than before. Or uninstall already built solar panels, already installed wind turbines and the large scale projects being built now.

    Nor will California undo their standards. Even without Federal oversight, no manufacturer wants to make their items unsellable in the nation’s largest state or overseas in more energy-frugal nations.

  7. 7

    @Brachiator:

    I guess it’s a sop to the oil companies

    It’ll also cause wailing and gnashing of teeth by the people in the enemy tribe, which these fuckers clearly count as a positive.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    @CarolDuhart2:
    Full-size truck and SUV sales have rebounded from the $4.50/gallon gas days and they’re having a tough time selling very high mileage cars at present, even in California. Hitting the fleet mileage standards is tough when the fleet’s range is 50+ down to 14, and folks are clamoring for the latter. One reason Honda has never had a full-size pickup, I suspect.

  9. 9
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Think Putin and the oil deals that underwrite this election theft. Unless those Russian oil fields are profitable, Putin has no economy. (Think about anything that comes from Russia besides caviar and vodka). So he has to loosen standards and hope that the car manufacturers follow suit. (They probably wont-changing would be too expensive). He also has to hope that loosening standards will bring at least some coal jobs back, o he’s toast as well.

  10. 10
    Spanky says:

    If’n I was in the business of making cars or energy, I’d be able to see past the 4 (or fewer) years of the Trump/Pense apocalypse and know that the regs will come back, and that the mid/long term view was to continue more or less as I’ve been going.

    So yeah, I fully expect Trump to shit on the environment, but in the mid-term it won’t make much of a difference.

  11. 11
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    The world view is consistent with conservatism: To stand athwart the great changes of the day and yell STOP!!!

    Everything Republicans do makes us less competitive in the long run, shackes us to outmoded ways of working, and lessens our standing in the world.

    But half this country loves them for it.

  12. 12
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TriassicSands:

    The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution

    What’s next? The Great Ozone Hole Expansion Executive Order?

    Moar Rolling Coal for everyone!!

  13. 13
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @trollhattan: But that’s because fracking has made oil cheap enough. But cheap oil isn’t going to pay off those Russian debts.
    And with cars lasting longer, compliant cars are staying on the road longer and longer. He needs rapid fleet replacement of regular cars here. Not everyone drives an SUV or a pickup.

  14. 14
    lollipopguild says:

    @Mickee: As long as the states are doing something that the cons like then its full speed states rights. The minute a state tries to do something that the cons do not like then no states rights for thee. See ag sessions remarks about legal maryjane.

  15. 15
    trollhattan says:

    @Spanky:
    Good point. Timeline for completely retooling a manufacturer’s fleet is measured in decades and what smart company seeing a sudden reversal of a long-term trend doesn’t think it can be re-reversed again in four? Not to mention there will be lawsuits up the kazoo. Still, he’s really working on upping his best Doctor Evil impression, hourly.

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Nor will California undo their standards.

    From the article:

    The E.P.A. will begin legal proceedings to revoke a waiver for California that allowed the state to enforce tougher tailpipe standards for its drivers.

  17. 17
    Mike J says:

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s funding for restoring Puget Sound would be almost wiped out under President Donald Trump’s proposed agency budget, according to a leaked memorandum documenting the cuts obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

    Under the proposal the EPA funding would be slashed by 93 percent, dropping from nearly $28 million in the current fiscal year to $2 million.

  18. 18
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Redshift: There will be a fight then. California does not want to return to the days when smog covered Los Angeles. Also, in a state where people drive long distances, do they want to pay more for gas then they have to.

    EVDrive, a company that converts gas cars to electric

    It’s too late for Trump on this one.

  19. 19
    TriassicSands says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    (Think about anything that comes from Russia besides caviar and vodka).

    Polonium-210.

  20. 20

    @lollipopguild: “States’ rights” has always (literally since the founding) just meant “n****r n****r n****r”, so I don’t know why people expect consistency in its application.

    @TriassicSands: Trolls!

  21. 21
    Another Scott says:

    @trollhattan: Honda has been smart, IMO, in never even sending a V-8 to the USA (except for their Indy Cars). Even their NSX sports cars had/have V-6 engines.

    There’s no need for them to become yet another full-size pickup vendor in the US. They should stick to what they do best (which often hasn’t been good enough in many recent years) – make efficient, reliable, and interestingly designed transportation.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  22. 22
    Redshift says:

    @Mickee:

    How will ‘state’s rights’ play into this?

    “States’ rights” is a lie, just like every other conservative “principle” (fiscal conservatism, personal responsibility, religious liberty, the list goes on.) None of them are anything but rhetorical clubs to be used against liberals/Democrats, to be abrogated without a thought when what they’re the ones who are acting.

  23. 23

    I’m assuming that’s future standards? Because engine makers have already done the work for current standards and, depending on how far off the standards are, paid for the tooling. IOW, it would cost them to roll back those standards.

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    @CarolDuhart2:
    Am constantly impressed how long cars last outside of snow country. Traded in my 16YO car last year and it has plenty of life left, just no company to support it. California’s 2016 top 5 cars and trucks:

    1. Honda Civic 88,390
    2. Honda Accord 76,184
    3. Toyota Corolla 64,430
    4. Toyota Camry 58,973
    5. Toyota Prius 49,490
    1. Ford F Series 49,873
    2. Chevy Silverado 41,331
    3. Toyota RAV4 41,196
    4. Honda CR-V 39,961
    5. Toyota Tacoma 33,876

    Which I guess makes the eff-one-fiddy the #5 selling car. Used to be #1 for many years…progress I guess.

  25. 25
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Mike J: There will even be more fights then. People like clean water and those who remember the smog-filled skies of the 60’s and 70’s don’t want to go back to those days either.

    I

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    @Redshift:
    They’ve tried and tried, and failed. But like Achilles, it only takes one unlucky arrow.

  27. 27
    Calouste says:

    Well, I hope Elon Musk enjoys being on the shitgibbon’s economic adviser panel now that he tries to take the market away for his company. Hoocoodano.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike J:

    Under the proposal the EPA funding would be slashed by 93 percent, dropping from nearly $28 million in the current fiscal year to $2 million.

    You can’t run an office of 25 people for under $2M a year. That doesn’t seem like a real number.

  29. 29
    Gretchen says:

    I went to the garden center today and they already had broccoli, lettuce and kale starts ready to go, a couple of weeks before usual. I asked the guy if that wasn’t early, and he said the went to a Kansas Extension meeting in mid-Feb, and the soil temp was already 55, which he considered mind-boggling, and which is what drives when they have plants ready. It was 74 degrees here today. I’m usually planting peas on St. Patrick’s Day in my winter coat.

  30. 30
    Calouste says:

    In yet another step to keep non-whites out of the country, the regime has suspended expedited processing of H1-B visas.

  31. 31
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Think about anything that comes from Russia besides caviar and vodka…

    Oh that’s too easy…

    Kompromat!

    Lots & lots of kompromat…

  32. 32
    Redshift says:

    @Mike J: There are similar stories about the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes, and all across the country. I’m assuming this means that someone in the environmental advocacy community was really on the ball about making this story local immediately, in which case, kudos. Turning it from a “evil gummint EPA with all their darn regulations” to “they want to let them poison *your* water and air” will be essential to winning this fight. And since it’s a budget that had to go through Congress and not executive branch idiocy, it’s a fight we can win. They can screw up EPA enforcement, but if we can keep money flowing to states that aren’t under the control of idiot extremists, we can prevent at least some of the damage.

  33. 33
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @trollhattan: And plenty of life probably means another 4-5 years as a used. Assuming that your driving is typical, gas consumption isn’t going to go that much more up.

    Another thing Cheeto doesn’t get, is that America is aging and also changing in many places. Elders with breathing issues aren’t going to want more pollution and have time to protests. Millennials are riding pollution-free bikes and more of them use mass transit. Like with the coal stuff I said elsewhere, where’s the increased demand going to come from?

  34. 34
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Calouste:

    the regime has suspended expedited processing of H1-B visas.

    Well… that’ll go over well w/ Silicon Valley…

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Calouste:

    the regime has suspended expedited processing of H1-B visas.

    I saw a blurb about that. I wonder how all the Silicon Valley photo op idiots are feeling about now?

  36. 36
    Peale says:

    @Calouste: who was getting the expedited h1s before? Who gets to skip the line?

  37. 37
    Gretchen says:

    From the Wichita Eagle: “Plant your cool weather crops when the soil warms to 35 or 40 degrees. Go with your warm weather crops when it gets up to 55 or 60 degrees,” said Shawn Olsen, an agriculture professor with Utah State University.

    St. Patrick’s Day, which is Monday, is also seen as a potential planting date for potatoes. Make sure the minimum soil temperature is 40 degrees.
    This was written in 2014.

    Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/living/h.....rylink=cpy
    So yes, soil temp of 55 in mid February is mind-boggling. That’s how warm it should be to plant things like beans, which happens in May.

  38. 38

    @CarolDuhart2:

    uninstall already built solar panels

    Well, that happened back in the early 1980’s. Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House roof, Raygun had them uninstalled.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gretchen:

    It was 74 degrees here today. I’m usually planting peas on St. Patrick’s Day in my winter coat.

    It hit 90F for multiple days in Feb here in the Greater Houston Metro Area. It is currently cool with a slight drizzle but we’ll be back in the mid-80’s in a few days.

  40. 40
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: But that’s the White House, back when solar panels were at best a novelty and experimental. Millions have been installed since on many houses. Those panels aren’t going away. And back in 1981 who even heard of wind turbines for electricity?

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @gene108:

    The world view is consistent with conservatism: To stand athwart the great changes of the day and yell STOP!!!

    Everything Republicans do makes us less competitive in the long run, shackes us to outmoded ways of working, and lessens our standing in the world.

    Very interesting idea. Conservatives like to present themselves as hard headed realists, and claim that they want to brush away regulations so that the free market can find the best answers and bring jobs and prosperity.

    But you have hit on something with this fear of progress, and a desire to freeze the history in some backward time when things were supposedly good and safe and understandable.

  42. 42

    @CarolDuhart2: That’s true about California, gas prices are a bit under $3 here in LA. On the street in front of the cave there are 4 cars parked, 3 of them(including mine) are Prius.

  43. 43
    trollhattan says:

    @Corner Stone:
    The fvcker who thinks he’s a Great Negotiator is issuing his opening offer. He’d be happy with, say, a 50% cut and laugh when getting it, “suckers!”

  44. 44
    Mike J says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You can’t run an office of 25 people for under $2M a year. That doesn’t seem like a real number.

    That’s just EPA funds for Puget Sound cleanup. And yes, it is too small to actually do anything. Which is the point.

  45. 45
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Brachiator:

    a desire to freeze the history in some backward time when things were supposedly good and safe and understandable.

    Right… the ’50s…

    It’s just not clear if they mean the 1950’s… the 1850’s… or the 1750’s…

  46. 46
    lollipopguild says:

    @Brachiator: Take your pick-1950,1920,1890 or 1850. As long as conservative white guys run everything and own everything.

  47. 47
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @lollipopguild: HAH! Got there about 3 seconds sooner…

  48. 48
    TriassicSands says:

    @Calouste:

    By keeping well-educated “ferners” out of the country Trump is providing job openings for any coal miners who don’t get their jobs back in the great DJ Trump Coal Mining Expansion Jobs Program. Of course, there may be a brief training period for such applicants (GED, college, graduate school), but that should be accomplished in less that a year at Trump University.

    (Apologies if this is too bitter. In my defense, I’ve been living under the Trump Regime for more than a month now, which is longer than any human being should be forced to endure.)

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    Stephen (not Steve) King Twitters about Twitler.

  50. 50
    cmorenc says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Nor is he going to derail the innovations that make appliances less of an energy suck than before. Or uninstall already built solar panels, already installed wind turbines and the large scale projects being built now.

    Unfortunately, Trump and the Koch-led political arm of the fossil fuel industry don’t need to uninstall solar panels to effectively undermine their cost-effectiveness relative to fossil-fuel generated power. The Koch-backed “American Enterprise Institute” and its allies in state legislatures are already pushing proposals to surcharge solar-generated energy to make it uncompetitive relative to fossil fuels, under the guise of alleging that solar power generation does not pay its proportionate share of the costs of conventional capacity, since any solar connected to the grid needs fossil fuel capacity for backup. And that solar is uneconomic without huge subsidies, whereas fossil fuel generated power is not – therefore any incentives to produce solar should be ended. Nevada is an example of where they’ve already successfully attacked solar generation using this approach, courtesy of a fossil-fuel-friendly Nevada Public Utilities Commission. They will simply keep increasing the required solar surcharge (for any connected to the grid) until it’s uneconomic.

    Read this American Enterprise Institute article – https://www.aei.org/publication/solar-energy-cant-survive-without-massive-subsidies/ – to see in more detail the arguments being used by fossil-fuel lobbyists and their allies to attempt to destroy solar.

  51. 51
    amk says:

    It will also have a major effect on the United States auto industry.

    Nonsense. They are making cars for highly competitive global markets, not just for murkkkan rednecks.

  52. 52
    TriassicSands says:

    @Brachiator:

    Conservatives like to present themselves as hard headed realists

    You’re right, but no hard-headed realist would support a tangerine buffoon who would lose to an average chimp in a vocabulary test.

    @Redshift:

    You too are correct. The states’ rights banner has always been a sham. It’s waved when the states want more pollution, more racism, more sexism, less help for the poor, etc. and rolled up and put away when the Republicans in Washington need to force the states to be more polluting, more racist, more sexist, or reduce help for the poor. (Other groups can be added.)

  53. 53
    JMG says:

    Trump’s budget is unlikely to survive hearings in Congress. I’d love to see how the Supreme Court would react to “Court rules California’s air is too clean” in the headlines. He’s acting with reckless abandon perhaps because he senses his time at the top is short.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @Gretchen: Gardeners know the climate has been changing, at least gardeners who’ve been at it for more than ten years. Things you used to never be able to plant at all because it was too cold you can plant now. And things have to go out earlier than usual. Of course there are still freaky ups and downs in the weather, but the overall trend is warmer.

  55. 55
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @cmorenc: Then more will simply abandon the grid entirely or use generators for backup. In any case, the panels are not coming off the houses anytime soon. And an idea has come about recently: that the backup could be wind turbines. Sun during the day, wind at night-a virtuous loop.

  56. 56
    misterpuff says:

    @TriassicSands: Cleek’s Law Presidency

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    There’s no room for negotiation here. Step one: 2018. Executions.

    Corrected for accuracy.

    They knew the risks when they danced to treason’s tune.

    Time to pay the piper, Bitches.

  58. 58
    Mobil RoonieRoo says:

    We are having our first roof inspection for our solar panels on Monday. I have a feeling they are going to kill all the incentive money soon and decided it was now or never

  59. 59

    @CarolDuhart2: OTOH, while people won’t be pulling solar panels off their roofs, not many more may be installing them.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    @cmorenc: Ironic as oil and gas get huge subsidies when they pull it out of the ground.

    Nevada’s energy regulators need to go up against the wall when the revolution comes.

  61. 61
    TriassicSands says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    And back in 1981 who even heard of wind turbines for electricity?

    I’d expect an all-out war on wind turbines from Trump. He’s been involved in a running battle in Scotland because he claims that wind turbines in Aberdeen Bay will ruin the views from one of his golf courses (which has ruined the views of locals, but who cares about them?). Trump has even become a bird lover deploring the avian holocaust that wind turbines cause for birds. (As if Trump ever gave a damn about a bird before this.) Anyway, it appears he’s lost his turbine war in Scotland and that means, to the Avenger-in-Chief that he’ll have to look elsewhere to exact his revenge. Now that he’s president he’s got the whole USA to use as a battlefield.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mickee: As long as California’s standards exceed the Federal ones it won’t make a difference. The California market is large enough to set the standard for the rest of the country and it will. None of the manufacturers are going to make one version of the car for California and one for the rest of the US. This isn’t the firearms industry where you can just change a 30, 20, or 15 round magazine for a 10 round magazine in the box the gun is shipped in and your product is legal.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: @Redshift: This will not pass the Senate, nor will the similar cuts for the Great Lakes. Too many jobs at stake and the House delegations from those states will also pitch a fit. The proposed budget, as proposed, is DOA. Some parts will make it through, but not things that significantly zero out funding that’s going directly for jobs. And these clean up projects involve jobs. And no Congressman or Senator likes to have funding for jobs disappear on his watch.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TriassicSands: Mail order brides.

  66. 66
    cmorenc says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    @cmorenc: Then more will simply abandon the grid entirely or use generators for backup. In any case, the panels are not coming off the houses anytime soon. And an idea has come about recently: that the backup could be wind turbines. Sun during the day, wind at night-a virtuous loop.

    The existing ones won’t come off the roof, but the heretofore accelerating momentum of the # of homes adding them can easily be brought to a standstill by Koch / AEI – sponsored legislation designed specifically to kneecap their economic attractiveness. And they will doubtless soon adopt similar tactics to attempt to undermine new wind generation – Trump is known to be hostile to wind turbines because the government of Scotland refused to halt its plans to build some within sight of Trump’s new golf course resort in Scotland. You should not underestimate the fierce determination of the AEI, Trump, and the likes of Scott Pruitt to force perverse, stupid energy and anti-environmental policies on this country, out of a combination of selfish greed and pigheaded, back-assward ideology.

  67. 67
    TriassicSands says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And Valentine’s Day cards to DJ Trump.

  68. 68
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, any thoughts on the Department of Homeland Security employees being told to work from home on Monday, the same day Trump’s supposed to sign the new travel EO? Seems very odd.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    None of the manufacturers are going to make one version of the car for California and one for the rest of the US.

    Amazingly, for decades that’s just what they did and boy howdy did some of the California models suck. Luckily, all the high-falutin’ computerized controls have made it a lot easier to meet both state and federal standards. I’m sure there are still examples of models not sold here, especially diesels.

  70. 70
    gene108 says:

    @Calouste:

    Happens this time of year, because the 2017 quota, of 65,000 visas, for new applicants opens on April 1.

    Usually the number of applicants far exceeds the 65k number, so 65k applications are picked at random and processed. The rest are not processed, so those folks are unlucky.

    If they do not restore expedited processing after the new applications are processed is the issue. Also, it costs $1200 to expedite visa processing, so it is a good source of revenue for the government.

    @Mike J:

    At this point their anti-environmental rules just seem to be out of pure spite against Mother Earth.

    $28 million, in the grand scheme of a $3-$4 trillion budget is already really small. To cut it by another $26 million is just pure spite against nature.

  71. 71
    Incitatus for Senate says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Wind turbines are not a backup for anything, because you never know when there is going to be sufficient wind. The only realistic way to abandon the grid is through large battery packs like those in hybrid cars. Even then you cannot be sure of uninterrupted power. A week of overcast skies and you will be lucky to have a few hundred watts available.

  72. 72
    amk says:

    beebs brit humor

    In other developments on Saturday:

    Trump supporters have held scores of rallies in locations across the country, ranging from several dozen people to the low hundreds, under the banner of the Spirit of America

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Just got back from the gym, haven’t seen anything about it.

  74. 74
    hovercraft says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Nor will California undo their standards. Even without Federal oversight, no manufacturer wants to make their items unsellable in the nation’s largest state or overseas in more energy-frugal nations.

    Same with the North East, this is the last gasp of the fossil fuel industry, but just like with his promise to bring coal back, we will not go back. People will continue to choose more efficient appliances, and even cars. Yes there are morons out there who delight in burning as many fossil fuels as possible, but most people are sensible enough to believe that global warming is real.
    So while this is despicable and bone headed, I think that the effects will not be as widespread as they would have been just a few years ago. Even the car companies will be reluctant to go back, doing so would limit their overseas sales.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    gene108 says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Trump has even become a bird lover deploring the avian holocaust that wind turbines cause for birds. (As if Trump ever gave a damn about a bird before this.)

    Have a friend who works in the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection.

    In the mid-1990’s Trump got really worried about preserving the wetlands around Atlantic City.

    Coincidentally that was about the time Las Vegas cas$no types, like Steve Wynn, were building in AC.

  77. 77
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Calouste: That will make the 2017-18 MLB and NHL seasons very interesting; I doubt there are enough American-born hockey players good enough to make the 24 teams in the US competitive with the Canadian teams; Montreal could resume its dominance of the Stanley Cup finals. Baseball doesn’t have quite as many non-citizen players, but there are enough to really reshape the game if the teams can’t bring in new ones from the DR and elsewhere.

    I think most US team owners in those sports are Republicans, too…

  78. 78
    barb2 says:

    Could be the Conservative attempt at population control?? Of the non white, non male population?? (big snark)

    People will die — cut off health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid etc. The weakest die — also call Eugenics.

    Puget Sound — the Salmon population took a major hit during daddy Bush’s reign. The Puget Sound region is still feeling the loss of Old Growth forests and the Salmon Streams which were wrecked by logging. Small businesses (Salmon run related) — boat launching etc. went out of business.

    Con- Conservatives can’t be trusted with human health and the health of the environment. Bad people – shameful.

  79. 79
    trollhattan says:

    @CarolDuhart2:
    Interesting doings in Arizona, as investors want to shut down the Navajo coal generating station (the west’s largest) and of course, the feds may now step in to keep it going. Taking it offline would be a huge source reduction.

  80. 80
    hovercraft says:

    Oklahoma Rep. To Visiting Muslim Students: ‘Do You Beat Your Wife?’

    A group of Muslim high school students attempting to meet with a Republican Oklahoma lawmaker were asked to complete a survey about their adherence to Sharia law that included questions like, “Do you beat your wife?”

    State Rep. John Bennett (R) confirmed to the Tulsa World in a Friday email that he asked three students who stopped by his office during an annual “Muslim Day” event at the Capitol to complete the questionnaire.

    “CANT REFUTE FACTS!” Bennett told the World. “According (to) her testimony in the Hadith (a collection of Muslim sayings and traditions), Muhammad physically struck his favorite wife for leaving the house without his permission.”

    Bennett has in the past referred to Islam as a “cancer” that is “not even a religion.” Last year, he received the “National Defender of Freedom Award” from the Center for Security Policy, one of the country’s largest anti-Muslim groups.

    He ultimately did not speak to the visiting students, according to the World.

  81. 81
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    Very interesting idea. Conservatives like to present themselves as hard headed realists, and claim that they want to brush away regulations so that the free market can find the best answers and bring jobs and prosperity.

    It might have been somewhat true once, when things like ending child labor, unemployment insurance, Social Security, Obamacare, were all new, championed by liberals/progressives and went against the old way of doing things.

    But as they are shown to be working, and have improved society, conservatives have gone from “realists” to radical revolutionaries, who want to upend things that have improved society for decades.

    But you have hit on something with this fear of progress, and a desire to freeze the history in some backward time when things were supposedly good and safe and understandable.

    I think everyone, after a certain age falls into the trap of, “back in my day…”, but I think liberals are willing to accept things may not have been as good as childhood memories make them out to be, if presented with contradictory evidence, wherein some folks had it worse.

  82. 82
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Okay, thanks. It’s a line in a Politico article about the upcoming EO, but it’s getting a lot of attention. Like, are making everyone stay home to do a sweep of offices, plant bugging software, see who’s been leaking? Are they using it as a pretext for searching homes of workers? Etc.

    One Twitter thread.

    This is odd. https://t.co/Idbk9j4kU3 pic.twitter.com/exhdxHxPlu— John Aravosis (@aravosis) March 4, 2017

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: The questionnaire is from Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America! outfit. This is one of the spinoffs of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. There are about three or four groups, all related and all funded through the same network, that were kicked off once Secretary Kerry lost the 2004 election. They are all heavily Islamophobic and push to marginalize and demonize Muslims.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: I just had a quick poke around. The closest thing I’ve seen to an answer is that Monday is the start of telework week in Virginia and the Federal government committed to promote it/participate in it a while back.
    http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2.....work-week/

    WASHINGTON — Fewer commuters may be on Washington-area roads this week — at least that’s the goal of Virginia Telework Week.

    During March 7-11, workers who typically travel to a job site are encouraged to work from home on one or more days, and employers are coaxed to pilot a telework program, in return for being listed on the Telework!VA website.

    Proponents say telework improves employee productivity, reduces turnover, improves employee morale, and reduces carbon emissions.

    According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, more than a quarter of commuters in the region telecommute at least occasionally. An additional 18 percent of regional commuters would like to telecommute if given the opportunity.

    Follow @WTOP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

    © 2016 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

  85. 85

    @hovercraft: I wonder if State Rep. Bennett asks Christian groups if they kill anyone they see working on Sundays.

  86. 86

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Proponents say telework improves employee productivity, reduces turnover, improves employee morale, and reduces carbon emissions.

    Sounds kinda Commie to me, sure Dolt 45 will get rid of that.

  87. 87
    Aleta says:

    Just unbelievable these actions. I get tears behind my eyes from the news.

    And it’s not ‘just’ about care for the environment and the future. It’s a naked hit on the consumer, most citizens, who want to spend less on gas. No care for any person or animal with breathing issues.

  88. 88
    Another Scott says:

    @CarolDuhart2: As usual, if Donnie really wants to mess with renewables, he may have put the wrong people in place to do it. TPR:

    Perry’s development of wind energy and the transmission system to distribute it is a big reason environmentalists like Tom “Smitty” Smith see something valuable in Perry’s appointment, even though they opposed it. Smith is the retired director of Public Citizen’s Texas office.

    “In Texas he put tens of thousands of people to work in the renewable energy field and built a huge transmission infrastructure program that put tens of thousands of people to work hanging the lines and putting up the towers,” Smith said.

    “ If he does that around the United States we’ll see lower electric bills, less pollution and more jobs in a lot of rural areas. “

    Smith cited industry numbers indicating there are currently 31,000 Texas jobs in the renewable energy sector, and about 5,700 in the mining of coal, an energy source that creates more greenhouse gases.

    Smith says, however, Perry record on oil and gas regulation has raised concerns among environmentalists.

    I don’t think that Donnie knows anything more about energy policy than what he can regurgitate as a Breitbart sound-bite. I don’t think he wants to destroy US wind power (and the jobs that go with it). I do think that he wants to pump as much oil out of the ground, and mine as much coal, and make as many Monongahela steel ingots as he can. Billionaires T. Boone Pickens and Philip Anschutz (and maybe others) have invested heavily in wind power. I’m sure that makes wind A-OK in Donnie’s book (as long as they’re out of sight from his properties).

    Donnie doesn’t care about policy, he cares about “winning” and appearances. He’ll let the wonks and the ideologues battle about the policy and he’ll sign whatever they put in front of him without reading it – ’cause reading is hard.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  89. 89
    Calouste says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio): Professional athletes and such are on a different visa program, O-1 IIRC.

  90. 90
    Fake Irishman says:

    @CarolDuhart2: remember these standards are only for the ones after 2022. This is bad news, but it’s not quite the end of the world. The Calfornia news is worse, but this is going to be a legal brawl.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @lollipopguild:

    Take your pick-1950,1920,1890 or 1850. As long as conservative white guys run everything and own everything.

    It is a very sick joke that the so called Gay Nineties was also a period with the highest recorded number of lynchings in the United States.

    It is also no coincidence that many alt right fools yearn for the 1820s, when slavery still existed, and before the later waves of immigration from Ireland, Italy, Eastern Europe, etc.

  92. 92
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Redshift: So much for state rights, right?

  93. 93
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Brachiator:

    It is also no coincidence that many alt right fools yearn for the 1820s, when slavery still existed, and before the later waves of immigration from Ireland, Italy, Eastern Europe, etc.

    Not to mention Indian tribes to screw out of their land, vast old-growth forests to clear cut, and uncountable herds of animals and flocks of birds to slaughter as fast as possible, and all for a quick buck…

  94. 94
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Brachiator: However they want the living standards of 2016. I mean, nostalgia only goes so far. But the reason there are 2016 standards are because the larger and diverse population has provided the manpower and profits to make that possible. Not to mention the military might in terms of personnel that allows for people having the time to spend on making things better rather than sheer survival. What Hispanic and other group not liked by the alt-right soldier has freed them from having to man the front lines and allowed them to wallow in such self-pity?

  95. 95
    Chris T. says:

    @cmorenc: Those arguments, of course, don’t actually hold up. Anyone with a big chunk of solar PV now can install a Tesla Powerwall and avoid sending power back into the grid and, in effect, claim “oh we just use hardly any electricity”…

  96. 96
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Adam L Silverman: also have more track work on the Metro lines as of today-April so depending on where they live and work, incentive to telework

  97. 97
    Bill Arnold says:

    @gene108:

    The world view is consistent with conservatism: To stand athwart the great changes of the day and yell STOP!!!

    Well, no. We’ve baked in perhaps 4 degrees C over the next few hundred years, with no stopping it without geoengineering. The conservative thing to do would be to shift near instantly to a carbon neutral economy and start spinning up the geoengineering PoCs and pilot projects, including CO2 capture else the oceans continue to acidify.

  98. 98
    J R in WV says:

    @Calouste:

    Expedited handling of H1-B visas will be ended…

    So now the supply of high-tech skilled people will shrink, driving up the costs to corporations. How is this good for the economy or silicon valley jillionaires?

    Also, changing EPA mileage rules won’t do much, as others have suggested. I do predict a war to close the Persian Gulf to oil tanker shipping, which will drive up the price of crude, making Putin even richer, and boosting the Russian economy making Putin’s rule more secure.

    But here, solar and wind energy is already cheaper than power generated by giant power generating factories, and then sent over an elderly power grid to users. The day we beat the storage of solar power during the day for use after dark or during cloudy periods, the power generating companies will be broken, which will be good for everyone who doesn’t own lots of stock in power companies.

  99. 99
    J R in WV says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    I have a Generac back-up generator that runs off natural gas. it is cheaper to run the house on that than to use power from the electric company. Except for the generator maintenance, and the fact that the generator won’t run the whole-house A/C when it get hot.

    But when the power goes off, we’re still warm in the winter, and the fridge is still cold.

  100. 100
    J R in WV says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    @hovercraft: I wonder if State Rep. Bennett asks Christian groups if they kill anyone they see working on Sundays.

    Or wearing blended fabric, say, linen and wool, or cotton and poly? Death to the heretics breaking GAWD’s LAWS!!!

    Or eating oysters, or scallops, or bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches? Death to the heretics!!!

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