Former President Ronald Reagan enshrined in law the public’s right to know what dangerous chemicals are in our communities. But Trump Republicans have killed off an online mapping tool that lets us easily do that.
“Our National Library of Medicine has now joined this administration’s ideologically-driven anti-science crusade, effectively shrinking the public’s access to environmental as well as disease and mortality data,” wrote Chris Sellers, a professor of environmental history and politics at Stony Brook University in New York.
ToxMap started in 2004 to display information the Environmental Protection Agency collects on toxic releases of chemicals. It also included information on nuclear power plants, coal plant emissions, Census figures and health and income data. People with basic computer skills could easily map potential dangers in their communities.
Much of the information fromToxMap is still online but scattered among different web sites, making it more difficult to learn about pollution and the polluters who are Trump’s pals and campaign contributors.
Former EPA officials have described making toxic release information available to anyone who wants it as “among our most potent environmental weapons.”
Shuttering ToxMap is part of Trump’s push to roll back environmental rules and regulations.
The New York Times counted 85 rollbacks or rollbacks in process. These actions, which include canceling a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions and shrinking two national monuments in Utah, could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. That would lead to thousands of extra deaths each year from poor air.
Reagan signed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act in 1986. Public demand for information about chemical releases had skyrocketed because of a pesticide release at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, in 1984 that killed thousands and a toxic chemicals release in 1985 from a Union Carbide plant in West Virginia. The law had overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats.
Lev Parnas is afraid of Bill Barr — and he should be
Lev Parnas recently told Rachel Maddow that he’s more afraid of Attorney General Bill Barr than he is of the mobbed-up foreign oligarchs he has betrayed. Barr, after all, can weaponize our prisons to punish Parnas.
“Am I scared?” he said. “Yes, because I think I’m more scared of our own Justice Department than these criminals right now.”
Trump displays ‘serious signs’ of cognitive deterioration as his impeachment trial ramps up
President Donald Trump's comments about Thomas Edison sparked concerns about his mental health among attorneys, former government officials and a Yale University psychiatrist.
Trump on Wednesday compared Tesla founder Elon Musk to inventor Thomas Edison in an interview with CNBC.
"He's one of our great geniuses, and we have to protect our genius," Trump said. "You know, we have to protect Thomas Edison, and we have to protect all of these people that came up with originally the light bulb, and the wheel and all of these things. And he's one of our very smart people, and we want to cherish those people."
Fox News’ coverage of Trump’s impeachment trial has been an embarrassing joke
When Rep. Hakeem Jeffries addressed the U.S. Senate on Thursday night as part of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, there was a crucial difference between how Jeffries’ speech was covered on different cable news outlets: while CNN and MSNBC broadcast the speech, Fox News muted the speech while its pundits offered pro-Trump talking points. CNN and MSNBC allowed viewers to hear Jeffries making a compelling case for removing Trump from office; Fox News let viewers see Jeffries but not hear him. And that Trump-friendly way of covering the trial is the subject of an article journalist Aaron Rupar wrote for Vox this week.