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Big Oil Loves EPA Move To Relax Fuel Standards

Big Oil cheers Trump moves to ease auto standards. Bloomberg: "The Trump administration’s plan to relax fuel-economy and vehicle pollution standards could be a boon to U.S. oil producers who’ve quietly lobbied for the measure. The proposal, released Thursday, would translate into an additional 500,000 barrels of U.S. oil demand per day by the early 2030s, about 2 to 3 percent of projected consumption, according to government calculations. 'It’s a meaningful increase in U.S. oil consumption' and one of the biggest steps the Trump administration could take to boost crude demand, said Trevor Houser, a partner with the Rhodium Group, a research firm that’s analyzed the proposal. 'In terms of policy interventions that the U.S. government has taken or could take, this is certainly the most significant.' The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed locking in U.S. fuel-economy and tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions requirements at 2020 levels of 37 miles per gallon. The existing standards the Trump administration wants to replace call for a steady increase to roughly 47 mpg by 2025."

Trump Wants To Push 1m Off Food Aid

Trump urges lawmakers to push one million Americans off food stamp program. Common Dreams "With both houses of Congress preparing to merge their two versions of the farm bill, President Donald Trump announced his hope on Thursday that lawmakers will reach an agreement that kicks one million Americans off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. In the House's version of the farm bill, adults between the ages of 19 and 59 would be required to either work or be enrolled in a job training program 20 hours per week to qualify for assistance. The Senate did not include work requirements in its bill. Trump's declaration that the Senate "should go to 51 votes" signaled the White House's hope that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will abandon the filibuster, making it easier for Republicans to pass a farm bill that would cut down on food stamp recipients. Work requirements for SNAP benefits are expected to reduce government spending by $20 billion over the next decade. Trump is pushing Congress to pass the measure seven months after passing the GOP tax law, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects will add nearly $2 trillion to the federal deficit within 10 years."

WH Wants To Cut Refugees To All-Time-Low

Top immigration aide pushing cuts in refugee numbers. Politico: "President Donald Trump last year advocated dropping the refugee cap as low as 5,000 people, down from 50,000, according to a former administration official – a cut far more drastic than even his most hawkish adviser, Stephen Miller, proposed at the time. Ultimately, the administration restricted to 45,000 the flow of refugees into the U.S. this fiscal year – the lowest since the program began in 1980, and less than half the target of 110,000 that President Barack Obama set in his last planning cycle. But the discussion set the terms of the administration’s refugee policymaking. Now Miller and a group of like-minded aides are pressing to reduce drastically the number of people entering the U.S., both legally and illegally. The immigration hawks are moving forward despite the blowback they got over their imposition of a “zero tolerance” prosecution policy at the southern border that resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents, according to interviews with more than a dozen current and former administration officials and outside White House advisers."

Lobbyists Push Dems To Reject Medicare For All

How health care lobbyists secretly persuade Democrats to oppose Medicare For All. The Intercept: "The Healthcare Leadership Council has closely tracked what its lobbyists have described as the “leftward movement” within the Democratic Party. In Hawaii and other states, the lobby group wanted to know if ideas popularized by Sen., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. — such as aggressive proposals to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals and institute a single-payer health care system modeled on Medicare — were taking hold. The council, which spends over $5 million a year on industry advocacy and brings together chief executives of major health corporations, represents an array of health industries, including insurers, hospitals, drugmakers, medical device manufacturers, pharmacies, health product distributors, and information technology companies. The group’s focus on competitive open seats around the country — like Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District — is aimed at shaping the next generation of lawmakers’ views on health care policy."

How The DSA Learned To Love Elections

How the DSA learned to love Cynthia Nixon and electoral politics. New Yorker: "Since Sanders won millions of Democratic primary votes on a platform he described as socialist, the nature of the democratic socialists’ relationship to Democrats has remained unresolved. The D.S.A. now has chapters in all fifty states, which send delegates to a biennial convention. The first since Trump’s election was held in Chicago last summer, and the group decided on three national priorities. Two of them, promoting Medicare For All and supporting organized labor, were familiar, but a third, electing socialists, set a new course of the organization. 'Most of the young members, which is now most of the organization, came to us through electoral work,' Chris Riddiough, a founding member who sits on the national steering committee, told me. But the leadership, too, recognized that they had momentum. 'We wanted to press our advantage,' Svart said. By the fall, the D.S.A. had a national electoral committee, which made clear that they were not interested in protest campaigns or symbolic victories. In November, 2017, one of its officers told Politico, 'We’re in this to win elections.'"

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