Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Last Call For Climate Of Destruction, Con't

Never let that crisis go to waste.

The Trump administration rolled back ambitious Obama-era vehicle mileage standards Tuesday, raising the ceiling on damaging fossil fuel emissions for years to come and gutting one of the United States’ biggest efforts against climate change. 
The Trump administration released a final rule Tuesday on mileage standards through 2026. The change — after two years of Trump threatening and fighting states and a faction of automakers that opposed the move — waters down a tough Obama mileage standard that would have encouraged automakers to ramp up production of electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient gas and diesel vehicles.

“We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to correct the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” Andrew Wheeler, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in a statement Tuesday marking the release. 
He said the final rule “puts in place a sensible” national program that “strikes the right regulatory balance that protects our environment, and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry. This rule supports our economy, and the safety of American families.” 
Opponents contend the change — gutting his predecessor’s legacy effort against climate-changing fossil fuel emissions — appears driven by Trump’s push to undo regulatory initiatives of former President Barack Obama and say even the administration has had difficulty pointing to the kind of specific, demonstrable benefits to drivers, public health and safety or the economy that normally accompany standards changes. 
The Trump administration says the looser mileage standards will allow consumers to keep buying the less fuel-efficient SUVs that U.S. drivers have favored for years. Opponents say it will kill several hundred more Americans a year through dirtier air, compared to the Obama standards. 
Even “given the catastrophe they’re in with the coronavirus, they’re pursuing a policy that’s going to hurt public health and kill people,” said Chet France, a former 39-year veteran of the EPA, where he served as a senior official over emissions and mileage standards.

The EPA mileage rollback is just the first blow. COVID-19 is already being used as the excuse to suspend enforcement of EPA regulations on clear water and air, and to suspend FDA food safety inspectionsThese regulations will never be reinstated under Trump.  In fact, the Trump regime will say that industries have proven they can police themselves, and they will, right down to hundreds of thousands of Americans getting sick every year because of health violations.

And all this happening while COVID-19 is going on.

Rent's Due And The Devil's, Too

It's April 1.  Rent's due.  And millions of Americans don't have it.

New York hair stylist Vanessa Karim has not worked since March 21, when the state closed all salons to slow the spread of the coronavirus. She only has enough cash on hand to cover half of her $1,400 April rent.
“It all feels like a bad dream,” said Karim, 36, who planned to ask her landlord if he would be willing to accept a partial payment. “Every day I’m like, ‘Is this really happening?’ I’m trying not to stress out.”

As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the U.S. economy and transforms Americans’ daily lives, the start of April brings a moment of reckoning for millions: rent checks are due.

Many Americans have already lost their jobs – last week’s national unemployment claims exceeded 3 million, shattering previous records – and huge swaths of the country have essentially shut down, with more than half of U.S. states now under some version of a stay-at-home order to curb the disease’s spread.
One third of the nation’s 328 million residents live in rental homes, according to U.S. Census data. In New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, the proportion of those who rent is much higher.

Some states have instituted a moratorium on residential evictions. Housing advocates, however, have called for more dramatic action, including putting rent payments on hold altogether until the economy can restart.

Alfa Cristina Morales, 21, lost her job as a line cook at an Oakland, California, coffee shop, along with her health insurance, three weeks ago.

Now she has been forced to take the money she had saved for a U.S. citizenship application and use it to pay bills, including her April rent. She is not sure how she and her 2-year-old son will make it through May. She has applied for unemployment benefits, which could take weeks to arrive.

“We’re worried that it won’t be enough,” she said

For millions of Americans, it won't be enough. Moratoriums on evictions won't be enough either, because landlords in nearly every state will still be able to initiate eviction procedures if there's cause. Landlords will absolutely pursue "material violations" of leases.  In Kentucky that means you get evicted after 14 days instead of the 7 for non-payment. Eviction still requires a court order, but it's not like a tenant is going to have the money to fight it.

So yeah, if a landlord decides to boot you for non-payment, you're still getting kicked out onto the street during a pandemic.

And it's going to happen to millions.


Related Posts with Thumbnails