Trump Administration Wants to Scrap Some Species Protection

Posted: July 19, 2018, 6:47 pm

Trump Administration Wants to Scrap Some Species Protection FILE – Sea otters are seen together along the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, Calif., March 26, 2018. Along 300 miles of California coastline, southern sea otters under state and federal protection as a threatened species have rebounded from as few as 50 survivors in the 1930s to more than 3,000 today. The Trump administration wants to scrap automatic federal protection for threatened plants and animals, a move that would anger environmentalists but please industry.
A proposal unveiled Thursday would no longer grant threatened species the same instant protection given to endangered species. It would also limit what can be declared a critical habitat for such plants and animals.
Officials with the Interior Department and Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that they wanted to streamline regulations. They said current rules under the Endangered Species Act were inconsistent and confusing.
Deputy Interior Secretary David B..

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EPA Proposal to Limit Science Studies Draws Opposition

Posted: July 17, 2018, 4:14 pm

EPA Proposal to Limit Science Studies Draws Opposition FILE – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building is shown in Washington Democratic lawmakers joined scores of scientists, health providers, environmental officials and activists Tuesday in denouncing an industry-backed proposal that could limit dramatically the scientific studies the Environmental Protection Agency considers in shaping protections for human health.
If adopted by the Trump administration, the rule would allow an EPA administrator to reject study results in making decisions about chemicals, pollutants and other health risks if underlying research data is not made public because of patient privacy concerns or other issues.
Opponents said the move would throw out the kind of public-health studies that underlie enforcement of the Clean Air Act and other landmark environmental controls, since the studies drew on confidential health data from thousands of individuals.
Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko of New York sai..

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Acting US Environmental Chief to Continue Deregulation

Posted: July 11, 2018, 7:10 pm

Acting US Environmental Chief to Continue Deregulation Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks to EPA staff, July 11, 2018, at EPA headquarters in Washington. The acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency plans to keep cutting anti-pollution rules and regulations on industry.
Andrew Wheeler held his first meeting with EPA employees Wednesday after taking over the job for Scott Pruitt, who resigned last week amid allegations of ethics violations.
Wheeler, like Pruitt and President Donald Trump, believes the nation's air and water can still be protected without what they say are job-killing regulations and pollution standards on industry.
Wheeler said the EPA would make cleaning up Superfund industrial waste sites and investing in water infrastructure priorities.
He promised to listen to all voices within the agency. “I value your input and your feedback, and you will find me and my team ready to listen,” Wheeler told staffers.
Wheele..

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Feds Freeze ‘Obamacare’ Payments; Premiums Likely to Rise

Posted: July 8, 2018, 3:32 am

Feds Freeze ‘Obamacare’ Payments; Premiums Likely to Rise FILE – Medical equipment on the wall of an examination room in San Diego, Calif., Nov. 17, 2014. WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Saturday it’s freezing payments under an “Obamacare” program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses, a move expected to add to premium increases next year.
At stake are billions in payments to insurers with sicker customers.
In a weekend announcement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the administration is acting because of conflicting court ruling in lawsuits filed by some smaller insurers who question whether they are being fairly treated under the program.
President Donald Trump shows an executive order on health care that he signed Oct. 12, 2017. The Trump administration says it’s freezing payments under an ‘Obamacare’ program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses, a move expected to add to premium increases next..

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AP Fact Check: Trump Overstates Progress on Opioids

Posted: May 30, 2018, 9:47 pm

AP Fact Check: Trump Overstates Progress on Opioids FILE – President Donald Trump speaks about his plan to combat opioid drug addiction at Manchester Community College, March 19, 2018, in Manchester, N.H. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is overstating progress against the opioid epidemic, claiming “the numbers are way down” despite an increase of opioid-related deaths and overdoses in his first year in office.
A look at his comments during a political rally in Nashville on Tuesday night:
TRUMP: “We got $6 billion for opioid and getting rid of that scourge that's taking over our country. And the numbers are way down. We're getting the word out — bad. Bad stuff. You go to the hospital, you have a broken arm, you come out, you're a drug addict with this crap. It's way down. We're doing a good job with it. But we got $6 billion to help us with opioid.”
THE FACTS: Opioid prescriptions are down; deaths and other indicators of the epidemic are up, according to t..

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Trump Gives Terminal Patients ‘Right to Try’ Experimental Drugs

Posted: May 30, 2018, 3:02 pm

Trump Gives Terminal Patients 'Right to Try' Experimental Drugs President Donald Trump hugs Jordan McLinn, a Duchenne muscular dystrophy patient, after signing “right to try” legislation in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, May 30, 2018, in Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation Wednesday to give patients with deadly diseases the “right to try” experimental drugs that might extend their lives.
At a White House signing ceremony, Trump called the measure a “fundamental freedom” for people with life-threatening conditions to use medications that have shown promise in initial testing but not been approved by U.S. regulators for sale to the public.
The bill cleared Congress last week after a spirited debate in which Republicans said it could give hope to thousands of people looking to save their lives, while many Democrats opposed to it said it would give patients false hope.
Trump had voiced support for the legislation at his State of th..

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