Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
The internal watchdog (Inspector General or IG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they had opened an investigation into the Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule, Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman reported in the New York Times last week. SAFE represented a significant weakening of Obama-era “Clean Car” regulations “that would have limited automobile emissions by significantly raising fuel economy standards,” the NYT noted. Many prominent outside experts argue the Trump rule does not “stand up to rigorous independent analysis” and want the EPA to make public the formulas and economic models they used. In addition, according to the NYT, auditors will “investigate whether the Trump administration ‘acted consistent with requirements, including those pertaining to transparency, record-keeping, and docketing, and followed the E.P.A’s process for developing final regulatory action.”
Why This Matters: As Vickie Patton, general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund, told the NYT, “this is really serious…It’s rare for E.P.A.’s inspector general to conduct an investigation of the agency’s rule-making.” While the IG does not have the authority to change the rule, the findings of the investigation could shine a spotlight on potential procedural or substantive legal violations, spurring further Congressional investigations or providing justification to overturn the rule in court.
SAFE has had controversy surrounding it since its beginning. As Davenport and Friedman reported, Trump administration officials were “acutely aware” that a Biden administration could use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the regulation with a congressional vote. Because of that, as one former Trump administration official noted to the NYT, “political appointees working on the rule had rushed to complete it before April, fearing that, if it was published later this year, it could be quickly overturned in 2021” should Biden win.
The Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent has been experiencing a massive power outage after its largest volcano erupted last Friday, forcing widespread evacuations for the island’s 100,000 citizens. As NBC News reported, La Soufriere’s eruption — its first large one since 1979 — transformed the island’s lush towns and villages into gloomy, gray versions […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new paper published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience found that up to half of the global methane emissions come from aquatic ecosystems and man-made water sources like flooded agricultural land, ponds, wetlands, reservoirs, and salt marshes. Experts say that these emissions have gone uncounted for too long […]
Right now, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Phoenix all don’t have Amtrak service. That could change if the new Amtrak service map, released last week as part of President Biden’s infrastructure plan, gets built.
Why This Matters: Getting around by train is more energy-efficient than driving or flying, especially if it’s electrified.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.