What environmental rule rollbacks will Trump try to sneak through before the end?

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After four years of allowing more pollution and emissions, the Trump administration has 10 weeks left to accomplish its deregulatory agenda. The Midnight Watch Project is keeping a list, so it can all be fixed after. President-elect Joseph Biden has big plans for climate policy, from rejoining the Paris climate agreement to decarbonizing the electric grid , but these initiatives won’t begin until his inauguration on January 20, 2021. In the meantime, the Trump administration still has 10 weeks (and counting) in office. In the past four years, the administration has already rolled back hundreds of rules designed to do everything from preventing the release of methane from oil wells to limiting how much mercury a coal power plant can emit. In the lame duck period, it could accelerate plans to do more before inauguration day. Read Full Story

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7 climate actions that Biden could take on his first day

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From rejoining the Paris Agreement to stopping the Keystone Pipeline to restoring the Bears Ears monuments, some of the Trump administration’s most public environmental rollbacks can be easily reversed by a new president. The last four years have been devastating for environmental regulation. The Trump administration dismantled the Clean Power Plan, opened Arctic wilderness for drilling, and, as part of a spree of rollbacks in his last days in office, shrank the protected habitat of the northern spotted owl. Those are just the most visible of the more than 100 rollbacks of environmental rules spearheaded by the administration. Now the Biden administration will start trying to reinstate them. Some of the changes will take years to reverse—and going further will often require votes in the Senate that may not be winnable. But Biden can also begin to repair some of the damage on his first day in office. Read Full …

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The Trump administration plans to execute more people during a lame-duck period than any other president

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Despite the high-profile fight to stop the death of Brandon Bernard, Trump plans to execute three more people before the inauguration. On December 10, as the scheduled execution for Brandon Bernard ran late, people took to Twitter for last-minute attempts to convince the government to exonerate him. Tweets noting that “Brandon Bernard has not been executed yet,” and “He’s still alive” ended with calls for people to keep calling the Department of Justice and leave a message, asking officials to commute Bernard’s death sentence. Read Full Story

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On top of everything else, the U.S. withdraws from the Paris climate agreement tomorrow

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What happens next depends on the results of the election. Three years after the Trump administration began the process of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement—the landmark international deal to limit global warming—the U.S. has now reached the date when it can officially pull out: November 4, the day after the election. But depending on the results, the withdrawal might not last long. Read Full Story

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A last-minute Trump administration rule could lower restaurant workers’ wages by $700 million a year

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Critics of the new rule say it could severely decrease servers’ incomes by making them do more work for fewer tips. Less than 30 days before Trump is due to leave office, his Labor Department has imposed a rule that may significantly affect the wages of restaurant workers. By one estimate, it may collectively cost tipped workers more than $700 million a year. Read Full Story

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How to rebuild the EPA after Trump trashed it

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Facing low morale and staff exodus after four years of an undermined mission, new EPA administrator nominee Michael Regan will have to act quickly to restore the agency and start acting on climate change and environmental justice. Before he took office, Donald Trump said that he wanted to “get rid” of the EPA “in almost every form.” Read Full Story

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Biden plans to fight climate change in a way no U.S. president has before

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The former governor of Colorado explains how the government can institute a comprehensive and coordinated “all hands on deck” approach to the climate crisis. Joe Biden is preparing to deal with climate change in a way no U.S. president has done before – by mobilizing his entire administration to take on the challenge from every angle in a strategic, integrated way. Read Full Story

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The U.S. rejoined the Paris agreement. Now comes the hard part

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Four years of inaction mean the country is far behind on the commitments required by the climate agreement. Here’s the bold action the Biden administration will need to take to keep the U.S. on track. More than three and a half years after Trump said that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate agreement, we’re back in. On Biden’s first day in office, rejoining the accord was the third of 17 immediate executive orders he signed as soon as was sworn in. Rejoining was simple; after sending a letter to the United Nations, the U.S. will officially be part of Paris again in a month. The next part is harder. How can the world’s second-largest polluter shrink emissions enough to comply with the deal. Read Full Story

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The Netherlands is slashing emissions by as much as 12 megatons this year—because of a lawsuit

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After losing a final appeal on a 2015 lawsuit, the Dutch government is being forced to invest billions to put itself on a path to be carbon neutral by 2050. As the Trump administration continues to roll back climate policy in the U.S., including changes to clean car rules that will allow cars to emit nearly a billion tons more carbon dioxide than they otherwise would have, the Netherlands is moving in the other direction, rolling out a set of new policies that will drastically cut emissions this year and put the country well on the path to its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. Read Full Story

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Best Employee Retirement Plans

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Starting an employee retirement plan is not too hard or expensive, even for small businesses. Plus, these programs offer tax advantages to both the employees and the company, which leave more money in everyone’s account. Offering such benefits is a great way to attract qualified candidates and gives your top talent a huge reason to stay. The sooner you start the better. First, I’ll walk you through the different types of employee retirement plans available. There are more than just 401(k) plans helping people save for post-career life, including some types that are specifically made for small businesses. Then we’ll take a look at what to consider as you decide on which provider you want to manage your employee retirement plan. There’s a little bit to know, sure, but …

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The U.S. plans to release its stockpile of COVID-19 vaccines. Experts are worried

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Healthcare experts are concerned about the vaccine rollout and whether the next administration can fix the blunders of the current one. This week, the Trump administration announced that it would release all the available COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile to ensure more people over the age of 65 can get a shot. The move followed President-elect Joe Biden’s declaration last week that he would release all the existing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to get more people vaccinated faster. Both plans raise lots of questions for health researchers and public health experts. Read Full Story

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