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Sierra Club sues US Energy Department over power grid study

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Environmental group the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Energy Department on Monday in hopes of forcing it to reveal the groups it has consulted in conducting an eagerly awaited study on the electricity grid.

It was the latest push-back on the department’s study from backers of renewable energy such as wind and solar power who fear it could be used by the Trump administration to form policies that could slow growth in the industry.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who commissioned the 60-day study in April, ordered his department to see whether “regulatory burdens” by other administrations including former president Barack Obama’s had forced the premature retirements of so-called baseload power plants, fired by nuclear and coal. Perry said those policies potentially put at risk the reliability and security of the national power grid.

The Sierra Club, in the suit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, said the department had ignored a Freedom of Information Act request it filed in May. That request sought the release of communications between staff and outside groups it had consulted, in the belief that the Energy Department had mostly relied on fossil fuel backers.

“We want to make sure that when this study is finally released, that the public and policy makers fully understand how it went about doing it, who they were influenced by, and whose views they did not take into consideration,” said Casey Roberts, a Sierra Club lawyer.

The Energy Department said it will not comment on pending legislation it has not yet seen. It had initially said the report would be released in July, but the release has been delayed. A draft of the study written by career staff, which said that intermittent renewable power has not harmed the grid, was leaked to the media last month.

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But an energy department spokeswoman said then that the draft was “outdated” and had not been reviewed by political or career staff, leading Sierra Club and others to believe the final draft could favor coal and nuclear.

Several lawmakers with strong renewable power output in their states have said that the Energy Department had already completed long-term studies of renewable power’s impact on the grid that concluded there has been no harm. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, raised concerns in a letter sent to Perry in May that the secretary had commissioned a study that appeared “geared to undermine” the wind energy industry.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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Donald Trump: ‘My life has always been a fight’

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The full interview with President Donald Trump finally aired on ABC Sunday, revealing the shocking way that he views his life.

Trump lamented that he's had such a hard life, as the son of multi-millionaires who paid to get him out of trouble multiple times.

"You're a fighter. You, you, it feels like you're in a constant kind of churn--" host George Stephanopoulos began.

"Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight," Trump said. "And I enjoy that I guess, I don't know if I enjoy it or not, I guess -- sometimes I have false fights like the Russian witch hunt. That's a false fight. That's a made-up, uh, hoax. And I had to fight that."

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The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report

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President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.

A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.

“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."

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Pete Buttigieg says ‘statistically’ we’ve already had a gay president — meet President James Buchanan

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In an interview with Axios, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that "statistically" it makes sense that out of the 45 presidents in American history, one of them was LGBT. Statistics aside, the reality is that former President James Buchanan has prompted historians to question.

The moment came when the Axios HBO show questioned what the young mayor would do when he's attacked for being "too gay."

"Republicans claimed that John Kerry was a traitor in Vietnam. That Barack Obama was a Muslim. If you were to win the nomination, they'll say you're too young, too liberal, too gay to be commander-in-chief. You are young. You are a liberal. You are gay. How will you respond?" asked Mike Allen.

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