Aug 1, 2017

Expert: EPA superfund cuts could "really hurt the program"

The Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight heard Monday from experts on superfund sites and the risks of President Trump's proposed overall 30 percent cuts to the EPA, and 25 percent cuts to the Superfund program.

  • Katherine Probst, former senior fellow at Resources for the Future: "A 30 percent cut in one year is huge, that is going to really hurt the's very hard to absorb huge cuts quickly."
  • Environmental attorney Steven Nadeau said of the cuts: "Whatever happens we can make it better, and we'll just have to live with it."
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.): "This is the job of government, to protect people, yet we seem to have a declining sense of urgency to deal with this crisis."
  • Subcommittee chair Sen. Mike Rounds (R-Wyoming): 1,336 sites in the country currently identified as "national priority for cleanups" pose "a great risk to human health and environment."

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HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.