Inside the Disastrous White House Briefing on Trump’s Child-Separation Policy

New York Magazine

Daily Intellegencer

Inside the Disastrous White House Briefing on Trump’s Child-Separation Policy

By Olivia Nuzzi    June 19, 2018

Kirstjen Nielsen takes questions from reporters during Monday’s briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Over the loudspeaker, a voice said the White House briefing would be moved to 4 p.m. The press, already assembled ahead of the scheduled time of 3:30 p.m., which itself was a rescheduling of the initial 1:15 p.m. appointment, laughed and groaned.

It’s nothing new for a White House to experience such disorganization; the veteran reporters tell the newer ones about how bad it was under Clinton, how in hindsight, the George H.W. Bush and Reagan administrations seem admirably prompt. But during Donald Trump’s presidency, the briefings have had two recurring themes: first, they never go well, and second, when administration officials struggle more than usual to get their story straight, the event hangs in a state of doubt.

On Monday, new reporting continued to reveal the realities of the Trump administration policy of forcibly separating children from their adult guardians who cross the border without U.S. citizenship. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly are both on record endorsing the practice as a means of deterring undocumented immigrants from entering the country.

Yet the president and members of his staff have repeatedly and falsely blamed Congress — in particular congressional Democrats — for the nearly 2,000 children who have reportedly been taken into federal custody in just the last six weeks. Condemnation is growing and bipartisan, led at the beginning of this week by former First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. Some even interpreted the statement from the current First Lady, Melania Trump, as a break with her husband (others disagreed). “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” her spokesperson said.

The gap has continued to grow between the critics of the policy and the administration officials who say it doesn’t belong to this administration, or isn’t even a “policy” at all (whatever that means).

In what may have been an omen for the utterly stupid catastrophe that was to follow, around 1:15 p.m. a man jumped the White House gate, prompting a lockdown. Sometime later, after the briefing was pushed back, ProPublica published audio of young children separated from their parents screaming and crying inside of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. In the recording, an agent can be heard joking at their expense. “We have an orchestra here,” he says.

Reporters in the briefing room, a small space that sits on top of what was once the White House pool, listened to the recording while they waited.

Four p.m. came and went. CNN reported that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t want to do the briefing alone, and was waiting for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to arrive and enter the room with her. (The Washington Post later reported that the story was the result of a leak by one of Sanders’s enemies in her ranks, designed to come out when she was too busy to respond, forcing her to address it at the podium.)

The briefing was rescheduled for 5:00 p.m. Just before 5:15 p.m., Sanders and Nielsen, along with several aides, opened the sliding door stage right from the podium.

Nielsen appeared agitated as she faced questions. At one point, asked how the treatment of the children separated from their parents wasn’t child abuse, she impatiently responded, “Can you be more specific?”

“We have high standards,” Nielsen said. “We give them meals. We give them education. We give them medical care. There’s videos, TVs.”

Nielsen’s claim can be judged against the photos and reporting of the conditions the children are subjected to; as The Atlantic reported, CBP’s own images show them “using Mylar blankets and being housed in cages.”

The stories, Nielsen said, “reflect the focus of those who post such pictures and narratives.”

Nielsen insisted that the Trump administration doesn’t have a policy of removing children from their parents who enter the country illegally, but offered various scenarios in which a child would be removed from their parents who enter the country illegally. She compared this to any person who commits a crime being separated from their family when they go to jail. She said critics who accuse the administration of using these children as a political tool are “cowardly.”

“The children are not being used as a pawn, we are trying to protect the children,” she said.

Both Nielsen and, when she was done, Sanders, expressed unfamiliarity with the images and stories that have put this issue on every news channel that airs on the dozens of TVs throughout the White House, and on the covers of the newspapers in their mail. (Sanders, true to form, said she hadn’t talked to Trump about arguably his most high-profile critic of the day, Laura Bush.) When officials are taking questions, the easiest thing for them to do when asked about a story or a statistic that they can’t spin in their favor or gracefully wiggle away from is to say they haven’t read it, seen it, or heard it. They’ll get back to you, they say. They rarely do.

As Nielsen spoke, another reporter’s phone began to ring with a mildly ridiculous melodic clang. After a while, when none of the reporters who’d been called on elected to play the audio published by ProPublica and ask for a response, I decided to play it. It was a small disturbance, prompting confused looks around the briefing room and expressions of annoyance and emerging panic from two White House aides, but it didn’t outright disrupt. Nielsen seemed to hear it — it’s a small room, it’d be hard not to — but she didn’t veer from her script.

“Are you intending for this to play out as it is playing out?  Are you intending for parents to be separated from their children? Are you intending to send a message?” a reporter asked.

“I find that offensive. No. Because why would I ever create a policy that purposely does that?” she said.

“Perhaps as a deterrent,” the reporter said, noting, along with another reporter, that both Sessions and Kelly have offered that explanation.

Nielsen replied, “That’s not the question that you asked me.”

Watch Laura Ingraham’s Soul Leave Her Body As She Describes Border Facilities as ‘Summer Camps’


Watch Laura Ingraham’s Soul Leave Her Body As She Describes Border Facilities as ‘Summer Camps’

Wow, this is even worse than expected!

By Jack Holmes      June 19, 2018

Donald Trump seized control of the Republican Party by channeling the resentful id of talk radio and Fox News. This was most apparent on immigration, where Trump depicted undocumented Mexican migrants as rapists and criminals to kick off his campaign. From there, he has only ventured deeper into the abyss. Fox News has followed him all the way, and it seemed sadly inevitable that they would back him this week amid a national firestorm over the emerging human rights crisis on our southern border.

But as the Fox power players returned to their broadcast chairs for Monday night primetime, what we got was even uglier than expected. Leading the way was Laura Ingraham, who responded to reports on the severe trauma children were experiencing as they were torn from their parents’ arms by suggesting they were getting a free ride to Camp Winnepesaukee.

It’s rare that you get to watch someone’s soul leave their body on national TV, dribbling out the side of their mouth as they explain how cozy kids have it as they’re kept in cages ahead of being dragged away from the one sense of security they still have left, their parents, after an often traumatic thousand-mile journey to escape horrific circumstances back home.

The immediate question was whether Ingraham would be sending her kids to one of these “summer camps” this July. Perhaps she’s eying the new tent city outside El Paso, Texas, where it will be an average of 96 degrees each day that month. Or maybe we just learned something about the Fox host’s childhood that might have led her to become such an unreconstructed ghoul as an adult. Surely something must lead you to, as a college student, try to out your LGBT peers by secretly recording them at a support group meeting, as Ingraham did.

Just to test her theory, here’s audio, obtained by ProPublica, of children who were just separated from their parents and put in summer camp.

Does that sound like the summer camp you went to? Or does it sound like the kind of thing that will make it into documentaries about this period, a chilling final testament to the human cost of this administration’s performative cruelty? Of course, the surest sign that it’s not all sunshine and roses is that Trump, the consummate coward, refuses to take responsibility for the separations in public, blaming Democrats and lying incessantly about “enforcing the law.” This is not the law, it is the policy of the Trump administration.

It’s not enough to suggest the kids have it good, though. You also have to demonize them as potential violent criminals—and use one of the president’s favorite buzzwords as you do it:

Some of these kids are toddlers. That can be easy to forget, since authorities only seem interested in allowing media and elected officials access to the facility in Brownsville, Texas, where boys aged eleven to seventeen are kept. But that is just one facility—where they probably think has the least sympathetic detainees—in which unaccompanied children, an increasing number of whom were forcibly separated from their parents, are held. Ingraham would like the separated kids to all be sixteen-year-old boys who she can paint as potential violent gangsters. What about the five-year-old girls, who are kept in facilities authorities won’t tell us about and won’t let us see?

Characterizing all undocumented immigrants as violent criminals is at the core of Trumpist immigration rhetoric, which takes it as the Word of the Lord that immigrants bring violent crime. (In reality, undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit violent crime than native-born citizens.) That is why, when discussing immigration, the president only talks about MS-13 or the relatively rare cases where citizens are killed by undocumented immigrants. The attempt is to paint all undocumented immigrants as violent criminals.

That is why it never mattered whether Trump called all undocumented immigrants “animals,” or just MS-13. His rhetoric on immigration is constantly dehumanizing: he calls the alternative to his family separation and detention program “catch and release,” like we’re hunting or fishing. (It is also not an accurate characterization of how the previous program worked.) He has never made a distinction between violent criminals and peaceful people who come here seeking a better life but don’t have proper documentation. And it’s not just his rhetoric—it’s his policy, too: 40 percent of those his administration deports are noncriminals.

It’s unlikely there’s much of a distinction in the minds of his followers, which might explain why 55 percent of Republicans support family separation. It’s easy to separate animals from their parents—we do it every day.

One example of this non-distinction is Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, who mirrored Ingraham’s insane MS-13 scaremongering—again, about a group of children, some of whom are toddlers. It appears the Fox & Friends host is getting high on his own supply of uncut white resentment, which led to an incredibly ugly rant from the Couch of Great American Discourse Tuesday morning:

These kids get fanned out to working-class neighborhoods, into our society, and then they have to be paid for by English as a second language, and then they gotta be schooled, and then a lot of them, sadly, in my neighborhood, turn into MS-13.

This is nuts. First off, it’s a bit of vintage nativism, suggesting immigrants are a drain on society when the undocumented contribute more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Also, Kilmeade is a millionaire TV host and it seems incredibly unlikely there are MS-13 members in his neighborhood. But the key point is his assertion that immigrants are the cause of, or will only exacerbate, social problems. Kilmeade, who is a steadfast supporter of anyone with an “(R)” next to their name, included this in his rant:

We are $20 trillion in debt, we have classrooms that are overrun, we have teachers buying their own supplies…

The Party of Fiscal Responsibility just ballooned the national debt with a tax cut that will add $1.9 trillion and a spending bill that will add $1.3 trillion. Meanwhile, last year, House Republicans sought to cut the education budget by $2.4 billion, or 3.5 percent. That pales in comparison to the Trump administration’s proposed cut of $9.2 billion. But this, Kilmeade says, is about underfunded schools. Who is the real threat to high-functioning American public schools: immigrant kids, or politicians who spend nearly all their time catering to the donor class?

But the symbiosis between this administration and its primary pravda network would not be complete without an appearance from Attorney General Jeff Sessions—who orchestrated and has repeatedly defended the family separation policy, sometimes citing the Bible in an ultra-authoritarian Evangelical interpretation—on Ingraham’s show. The dehumanizing rhetoric and cruel treatment of these people, along with the new addition of actual concentration camps, has led some to make Nazi comparisons. Sessions dismissed this as silly—the Nazis wanted to kill people, not deport them!

Axios: INGRAHAM: “[Lawmakers are comparing this policy to] Nazi Germany, concentration camps, what’s going on here?”
SESSIONS: “It’s a real exaggeration. In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country but this is a serious matter.”

Of course, in the beginning, the Nazis primarily sought to expel the Jews from Europe. But history doesn’t matter, you see—that’s why they’re cutting the education funding! Just from a PR standpoint, though, the first distinction you should probably draw between yourself and Nazis is that you do not, presumably, have a genocidal hatred for a societal subgroup that you constantly dehumanize and blame for society’s problems. The logistical differences should come after.

Trump And His Allies Are Either Woefully Misinformed About Family Separations Or Lying Through Their Teeth

Border Crossing With Music

June 18, 2018

Amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, these musicians provide cross-border solidarity.

Border Crossing with Music

Amid the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, these musicians provide cross-border solidarity.

Posted by Direct From on Monday, June 18, 2018

Americans own 40 percent of world’s firearms


Americans own 40 percent of world’s firearms: study

AFP          June 19, 2018

Of the 857 million guns owned by civilians, 393 million are in the United States – more than all of the firearms held by ordinary citizens in the other top 25 countries combined (AFP Photo/Brian Blanco)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) – Americans make up only four percent of the global population but they own 40 percent of the world’s firearms, a new study said Monday.

There are more than one billion firearms in the world but 85 percent of those are in the hands of civilians, with the remainder held by law enforcement and the military, according to the Small Arms Survey.

The survey, produced by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, says it bases its estimates based on multiple sources, including civilian firearms registration data from 133 countries and territories and survey results in 56 countries.

Of the 857 million guns owned by civilians, 393 million are in the United States – more than all of the firearms held by ordinary citizens in the other top 25 countries combined.

“The biggest force pushing up gun ownership around the world is civilian ownership in the United States,” said Aaron Karp, one of the authors of the report which compiles new data from the last ten years.

“Ordinary American people buy approximately 14 million new and imported guns every year,” Karp told a news conference at UN headquarters in New York.

Americans have access to powerful firearms that are not available in many other countries due to tighter legislation.

“Why are they buying them? That’s another debate. Above all, they are buying them probably because they can. The American market is extraordinarily permissive,” he said.

Gun ownership rates vary across the world, with 121 firearms for every 100 residents in the United States compared to 53 in Yemen, 39 in Montenegro, and 35 in Canada.

Japan and Indonesia are at the other end of the spectrum with less than one firearm per 100 people.

Only 28 countries released information on their military stockpiles while 28 nations offered information the firearms owned by law enforcement agencies.

Civilian firearms registration data was available for 133 countries and territories. Survey results were used

Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – study

The Guardian

Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – study

Climate change study predicts ‘staggering impact’ of swelling oceans on coastal communities within next 30 years

Oliver Milman, in New York        June 18, 2018

Oceanfront homes in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Houses on the US coastline could risk being flooded every two weeks. Photograph: Alamy

Sea level rise driven by climate change is set to pose an existential crisis to many US coastal communities, with new research finding that as many as 311,000 homes face being flooded every two weeks within the next 30 years.

The swelling oceans are forecast repeatedly to soak coastal residences collectively worth $120 billion by 2045 if greenhouse gas emissions are not severely curtailed, experts warn. This will potentially inflict a huge financial and emotional toll on the half a million Americans who live in the properties at risk of having their basements, backyards, garages or living rooms inundated every other week.

“The impact could well be staggering,” said Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “This level of flooding would be a tipping point where people in these communities would think it’s unsustainable.

“Even homes along the Gulf coast that are elevated would be affected, as they’d have to drive through salt water to get to work or face their kids’ school being cut off. You can imagine people walking away from mortgages, away from their homes.”

Video:  Sea level rise: Miami and Atlantic City fight to stay above water

The UCS used federal data from a high sea level rise scenario projected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and combined it with property data from the online real estate company Zillow to quantify the level of risk across the lower 48 states.

Under this scenario, where planet-warming emissions are barely constrained and the seas rise by about 6.5ft globally by the end of the century, 311,000 homes along the US coastline would face flooding on average 26 times a year within the next 30 years – a typical lifespan for a new mortgage.

The losses would multiply by the end of the century, with the research warning that as many as 2.4m homes, worth around a trillion dollars, could be put at risk. Low-lying states would be particularly prone, with a million homes in Florida, 250,000 homes in New Jersey and 143,000 homes in New York at risk of chronic flooding by 2100.

“Unfortunately, many coastal communities will face declining property values as risk perceptions catch up with reality.”

This persistent flooding is likely to rattle the housing market by lowering property prices and making mortgages untenable in certain areas. Flood insurance premiums could rise sharply, with people faced with the choice of increasing clean-up costs or retreating to higher ground inland.

“Unfortunately, in the years ahead many coastal communities will face declining property values as risk perceptions catch up with reality,” said Rachel Cleetus, an economist and climate policy director at UCS. “In contrast with previous housing market crashes, values of properties chronically inundated due to sea level rise are unlikely to recover and will only continue to go further underwater, literally and figuratively.”

The report does not factor in future technological advances that could ameliorate the impact of rising seas, although the US would be starting from a relatively low base compared with some countries given that it does not have a national sea level rise plan. And the current Trump administration has moved to erase the looming issue from consideration for federally funded infrastructure.

Miami mayor: ‘People on the waterfront won’t be able to stay unless they are very wealthy.’ Photograph: Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images

The oceans are rising by about 3mm a year due to the thermal expansion of seawater that’s warming because of the burning of fossil fuels by humans. The melting of massive glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica is also pushing up the seas – Nasa announced last week that the amount of ice lost annually from Antarctica has tripled since 2012 to an enormous 241bn tons a year.

This slowly unfolding scenario is set to pose wrenching choices for many in the US. Previous research has suggested that about 13 million Americans may have to move due to sea level rise by the end of the century, with landlocked states such as Arizona and Wyoming set for a population surge.

“My flood insurance bill just went up by $100 this year, it went up $100 the year before,” said Philip Stoddard, the mayor of South Miami. “People on the waterfront won’t be able to stay unless they are very wealthy. This isn’t a risk, it’s inevitable.

“Miami is a beautiful and interesting place to live – I’m looking at a lizard on my windowsill right now. But people will face a cost to live here that will creep up and up. At some point they will have to make a rational economic decision and they may relocate. Some people will make the trade-off to live here. Some won’t.”

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Climate Change May Already Be Hitting the Housing Market


Climate Change May Already Be Hitting the Housing Market

By Christopher Flavelle and Allison McCartney      June 18, 2018

Even as President Donald Trump downplays the importance of climate change, there are signs that Americans may be taking it more seriously—at least when it comes to buying a house.

Between 2007 and 2017, average home prices in areas facing the lowest risk of flooding, hurricanes and wildfires have far outpaced those with the greatest risk, according to figures compiled for Bloomberg News by Attom Data Solutions, a curator of national property data. Homes in areas most exposed to flood and hurricane risk were worth less last year, on average, than a decade earlier.

Average home price appreciation by flood risk

Attom Data looked at the annual change in home prices and sales across 3,397 cities around the country, then divided those cities into five groups based on their exposure to various types of natural disasters. What they found suggests the threats of climate change are beginning to register.

On average, home prices across the cities analyzed by Attom Data increased 7.3 percent between 2007 and 2017. That figure masks deep drops in vulnerable areas.

“Natural disaster risk is certainly not the only factor consumers are considering when buying a home,” said Daren Blomquist, Attom Data’s senior vice president for communications. But he said the figures provide “some evidence real estate consumers are responding to natural disaster risk, albeit somewhat erratically.”

Average home price appreciation by hurricane surge risk

The data suggest the relationship between climate risk and home prices isn’t always a straight line. That’s because home buyers have to weigh the risk of disasters against the so-called amenity value of living near water or at the edge of the forest, according to Carolyn Kousky, director for policy research for the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School.

“It’s probably very likely that people are starting to have a greater awareness of disaster risk,” Kousky said. “The tricky part is that some of the riskiest areas are also such high amenities.”

For example, home values in Key Biscayne, Florida were 19 percent higher in 2017 than in 2007, despite the island’s flood risk. Homes in Aromas, California, which Attom Data classifies as a very high wildfire risk, increased 43 percent over the same period. Both areas offer natural beauty that buyers have apparently concluded is worth the danger.

But the data suggest those areas are becoming the exception.

Average home price appreciation by wildfire risk level

Another string of disasters might speed the process. Jesse Keenan, who teaches at Harvard University and focuses on the interaction between climate change and the housing market, said that connection is increasing as more Americans live through storms, floods or wildfires.

“People have actually observed these phenomena,” Keenan said. “There’s been a lot of recent experience.”

Asaf Bernstein, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder who has studied the drop in home prices associated with sea-level rise, said it’s not surprising that home values would be affected by other types of climate risk.

“It’s not a question of if,” Bernstein said. “It’s a question of when.”

Trade war jeopardizes China’s huge investment in creation of new ‘cancer alley’ in Appalachia


Trade war jeopardizes China’s huge investment in creation of new ‘cancer alley’ in Appalachia

Industrial build-out in West Virginia would have massive environmental impacts.

Mark Hand      June 18, 2018

Environmental activists fear massive investments in petrochemical and energy facilities could turn part of Appalachia into a new “cancer alley” like the one in Louisiana along the Mississippi river. Credit: Julie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty Images

Doubts are growing about a Chinese company’s planned investment in a suite of natural gas-related projects in West Virginia due to the Trump administration’s intensification of a trade war between the United States and China.

From the day the agreement was announced last fall, skepticism has surrounded the issue of whether state-owned China Energy Investment Corp. would follow through on its planned $83 billion investment in energy infrastructure in West Virginia. The cost and scope of the project — known as the Appalachian Storage Hub — would be unprecedented.

The massive project would include natural gas liquids storage, a major intersection of pipelines, and a petrochemical refinery row. Environmental groups have expressed concern that the construction of natural gas liquids and petrochemical processing plants could contaminate air and water resources.

The escalating trade war between the United States and China is causing further uncertainty about the agreement. Global stock prices fell Monday as investors reacted to the decision last week by the United States to target an additional $50 billion in China-made goods for new tariffs.

Brian Anderson, director of the Energy Institute at West Virginia University, has previously touted the positive impact of the China Energy investment. Anderson said two months ago that the agreement with the Chinese company could be coming along at the perfect time. But on Monday, Anderson adjusted his expectations, telling an energy industry conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that the trade war “has put this project in jeopardy.”

Another potentially ominous sign for the project is the decision by the chief executive of China Energy to cancel plans to speak at this week’s conference — the Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction Conference — as the war of words between the two countries on trade issues heated up. The CEO, who reports to the president of China, reportedly cited the trade war as the reason for canceling his trip to the conference.

If trade relations between the United States and China improve and China Energy ultimately carries out its end of the deal, environmental groups are concerned that the state of West Virginia will not be able to properly oversee the potential damage caused by the construction and operation of the energy and petrochemical facilities.

West Virginia has a long history of favoring coal industry profits over the environment and public health. The state is showing the same deference to the natural gas industry, which has grown into a powerful business force in the state over the past 10 years.

The scale of industrialization that would come from the $83 billion investment would be a “big burden” on the state Department of Environmental Protection that does not have adequate resources to enforce regulations on existing coal and natural gas industry operations, according to Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

Natural gas investments are happening at such a rapid pace in the state that “mistakes are being made and damage is being done” by state environmental officials in a similar fashion to how they failed to adequately monitor the coal industry, Rosser told ThinkProgress.

Appalachia’s struggling coal communities find hope in transition to clean energy

The Appalachian Storage Hub took a major step forward last November as part of a U.S. trade mission to China attended by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. During Trump’s visit to China, China Energy announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to invest $83.7 billion in the planned storage hub over 20 years. For comparison, West Virginia’s gross domestic product in 2016 was $72.9 billion.

If it is developed, the hub would bring a massive buildup of the petrochemical industry along the Ohio River from southwestern Pennsylvania to Huntington, West Virginia. It would stretch into surrounding counties with a spur from down the Kanawha River from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, to Charleston, West Virginia.

Environmental groups fear the region could become another “cancer alley,” similar to the buildup of petrochemical facilities in Louisiana along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

“Petrochemicals, pipelines, and plastics are not a plus for the Ohio Valley. We are threatening the future of generations to come if we buy into this promise of short-term economic gains instead of realizing the disastrous long-term effects that will occur,” the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, a nonprofit group based in Huntington, said in an alert issued last Thursday.

West Virginia is undergoing political upheaval that also could impact the agreement. Last week, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) forced Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher to resign over his handling of a flood relief program. Thrasher was the top state official who traveled to China last November as part of the trade delegation.

A once thriving coal town has turned toxic, and citizens are desperate for help

Furthermore, a potential conflict of interest has emerged as part of the $83 billion investment. At least one member of West Virginia’s negotiating team was also negotiating on behalf of his private company when he traveled to China last fall to negotiate the deal, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported last Friday. The corporate executive, Steven Hedrick, is CEO of Appalachia Development Group LLC and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center.

Appalachia Development Group has been seeking a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Appalachian Storage Hub project. The state Commerce Department paid for Hedrick’s travel for the China negotiations. The state found out that Hedrick asked China Energy officials to specifically target some of their investment in his company’s natural gas storage hub.

Rosser, head of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, said she believes the state will have “big-time regrets” if it does not implement necessary safeguards that will protect the environment and public health from the massive industrial build-out.

An abundant harvest from Punta Mona, Costa Rica

EcoWatch shared a live video.
June 18, 2018

An abundant harvest live from Costa Rica with Stephen Brooks.

We are live here at Punta Mona and want to share an abundant harvest with all of you!

We are live here at Punta Mona and want to share an abundant harvest with all of you!

Posted by Stephen Brooks on Monday, June 18, 2018

Americans currently owe $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.


Americans currently owe $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.

College Debt

Americans currently owe $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, May 24, 2018