by Countable | 4.14.17
It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:
President Trump’s top environment official called for an "exit" from the historic Paris agreement Thursday, the first time such a high-ranking administration official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change.
It is far from clear how the Trump administration could actually "exit" the Paris agreement, assuming that it wants to. Now that the agreement has entered into force, it takes three years under its terms for a party to withdraw, followed by a one-year waiting period — a length roughly equal to Trump’s first term in office.
Read more at the Washington Post.
Congressional Democrats said Thursday they won’t be coerced into negotiating a repeal of the Affordable Care Act by President Donald Trump’s threats to withhold federal payments critical to maintaining the stability of the insurance market.
But the president’s comments could have a more immediate effect on Capitol Hill, thrusting the payments to insurers into negotiations over a spending bill needed to keep the government running beyond April 28, when its current funding expires.
Mr. Trump said Wednesday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he was considering halting payments to insurers in the ACA to compel Democrats to work with him on overhauling the health-care system.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal.
After falling short in his bid to block Texas from complying with the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling in 2015, state Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. is back this legislative session with a bigger, bolder idea — a process allowing Texas to declare federal laws, rules and court decisions unconstitutional and unenforceable in the Lone Star State.
The Republican from Magnolia also wants treaties and presidential orders to fall under state scrutiny to block any federal action taken beyond the scope of power delegated to the U.S. government by the Constitution.
Read more at the Austin American-Statesman.
Read about North Carolina’s attempts to defy the Supreme Court at Countable.
A day after the United States dropped the largest non-nuclear weapon it has ever used in combat, U.S. military helicopters pounded a mountainside village in eastern Afghanistan on Friday in an ongoing operation against fighters loyal to Islamic State.
Plumes of smoke were visible from several miles away as the airstrikes provided cover for Afghan commandos and U.S. advisers who have been locked in a two-week battle to clear a network of tunnels used by Islamic State militants — the target of the Thursday bombing.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast — a 20,000-pound weapon dubbed the "mother of all bombs" — shot flames and smoke into the sky for more than four hours and marked a sharp escalation of U.S. operations against Islamic State’s affiliate in South Asia.
Read more at the LA Times.
A year ago, this corner of rural Oregon became center stage in the drawn-out drama over public lands when armed militia leaders seized a national wildlife refuge, arguing that the government had too much control of land in the West.
Now that President Trump is in office, people here and in other parts of the 11 states where 47 percent of the landmass is publicly owned are watching to see what he will do on everything related to public lands, from coal mining and cattle grazing to national monuments and parks. In Burns, some ranchers and others are feeling emboldened, hopeful that regulatory rollbacks by the federal government will return lands to private use and shore up a long-struggling economy.
But the change in administration has also spawned a countermovement of conservatives and corporate executives who are speaking up alongside environmentalists in defense of public lands and now worry about losing access to hunting grounds and customers who prize national parks and wildlife.
Read more at the New York Times.
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: UNClimateChange via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
So, the Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency wants to back out of a multi-national agreement that would protect the environment...anyone else hear how stupid that sounds. This administration is so screwed up, no joke.
Is this guy nuts .... all the effort that has been expended to getting countries in the world to sign onto protecting the planet from rape, pillage and pollution is at risk of being undone by the ideas and wants of one or two individuals is ridiculous. This moron and his boss the moron in chief should not have the ability to undo all the good that has been done to protect our planet. They do it, in part, in the guise of job creation... it's all smoke and mirrors as all it will do is make corporate America and CEO's richer ... some jobs may come, but it will be few and far between
What type of example are we trying to be... definitely not trying to be a world leader. If we were we would lead the charge on the making the change for climate change to leave a planet for our children! But instead we show our greed and lack of leadership by having our EPA head request out of these agreements is just showing the world we are the biggest asses rather then a great Nation
We must not leave the Paris agreement. We may have already damaged the planet irreparably, leaving it may seal our end.
This is disgusting.
Good grief. Do NOT abandon the Paris accord. We would be an even greater international pariah
Pruitt is a shill for big energy and he'll sell us out to the highest bidder. When the air and streams and rivers are full of pollutants I will take no satisfaction in looking back to this point to say I told you so. Regulations don't kill jobs, time and evolution does... we've regressed to the days of the Luddites and it makes me sad.
The EPA chief is a sham and works for private interests over the well being of our environment.
Do not abandon the Paris climate accord! Even the CEO of Exxon Mobil said this is insane! Tom Price and his fellow Republicans don't care if they destroy the earth by abandoning every principle the EPA has pledged to preserve. If you care about the earth you will leave to your children and your children's children, you will not approve this outrageous legislation.
Destroying EPE is slow homicide. This is a foolish mistake. Resist.
This is bad, real bad.
I am extremely concerned about our withdraw from the climate treaty that our EPA secretary proposes. This will certainly put China in a leadership position for clean air and clean air technology, and further our I slide into Third World status. I am opposed to our withdraw. I reside in Hannibal Missouri
We need to stay in and uphold the Paris Climate agreement.
Does a glacier have to break off and whack these idiots in the head! We need to get courts involved! Stop any direction, by an administration deemed corrupt, that would put human life and well being at risk! Let the people vote!
Pruitt is truly in the minority in being such a denier of science.As representatives of California please protect what the overwhelming majority of Californians who believe in climate change and protecting our environment
Dear Simple Scott, an environment does not confine itself by political boundaries whether state, national or otherwise. The environment is global. Environmental solutions must also be global.
You can't fix stupid -- you vote them out people -- ball's in our court now -- do not be quiet about this any longer!!!
Please do all you can to keep the US in the Paris Climate deal. Keep up the good fight!
Only in America have we made saving the planet a political issue. I'm so sick of this!!!!
What??? EPA NOT protecting the environment. Ludicrous!