Nov 21, 2019

Trump EPA to roll back Obama-era chemical rules

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to roll back a set of Obama-era standards outlining how companies must store dangerous chemicals, the Washington Post reports.

Where it stands: The rules were enacted following a 2013 explosion in Texas that killed 15 people. Officials blame arson for the deadly blast, but the fertilizer plant fire was fueled by 80,000–100,000 pounds of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate. Under the EPA's newly weakened rules, companies will no longer have to provide public information on what chemicals they store onsite.

  • Companies will also be freed from several safety procedures, including obtaining a third-party audit following an accident or conducting an analysis after major chemical releases.

Between the lines: This is the latest rollback that shows how the broad reach of President Trump's deregulatory push goes far beyond the climate change policies of his predecessor, Axios' Amy Harder notes.

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Trump takes on toilets, complains about water efficiency

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump ordered a federal review of U.S. water efficiency standards in bathrooms on Friday, saying "people are flushing toilets 10 times 15 times as opposed to once."

Why it matters: Trump "routinely portrays himself as a champion" of the environment, but many have called him out for rolling back Obama-era environmental protections, Bloomberg writes.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019

2020 Democrats love Obama, but are ready to move on

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are chasing two contradictory impulses in their quest to defeat President Trump: Move past Barack Obama's policies, but tap into the party's affection for him.

Why it matters: It's hard to watch a Democratic debate without being reminded of Obama's legacy. "We have to rebuild the Obama coalition," Sen. Kamala Harris said at Wednesday's debate, a point that was echoed by other candidates. "I keep referring to that because that's the last time we won."

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019

Texas chemical plant blasts: 50,000 people return home as fire contained

A TPC Group chemical plant is shrouded by smoke as the fire continues in Port Neches, about east of Houston. Photo: Steven Song/Xinhua via Getty Images

Officials warned people who live near a southeast Texas petrochemical plant Saturday "not to touch" debris from fires still burning from a series of explosions on Thanksgiving's eve because of possible asbestos exposure, ABC reports.

What's new: Officials said the fires at the TPC facility in Port Neches had been contained, enabling 50,000 evacuated residents to return home, per CBC News, which notes "plumes of smoke" could still be seen at the plant but the air quality was found to be safe.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 1, 2019