By Robert A. Vella

The Trump administration is deregulating methane emissions at a critical time when releases of this potent greenhouse gas are rapidly increasing worldwide from industrial activity and from Arctic permafrost melting.  His administration is also ending automatic citizenship for the children born to U.S. military families and other citizens living abroad, and it is planning to deport undocumented residents wishing to remain in the U.S. in order to get treatment for severe medical conditions.  Hurricane Dorian is projected to hit Florida’s east coast as a dangerous category 4 storm.  China is sending military forces into Hong Kong in a retaliatory move against pro-democracy protesters.  The Italian government is attempting to reform after the anti-establishment Five Star Movement broke with Matteo Salvini’s far-right extremists and joined a coalition with the center-left opposition.  GOP hopes for keeping control of the U.S. Senate in next year’s election took a turn for the worse after Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced his resignation.

From:  E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is set to announce on Thursday that it intends to sharply curtail the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change, according to an industry official with knowledge of the plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a proposed rule, will aim to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to inspect for and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities.

The proposed rollback is particularly notable because several major energy companies have, in fact, opposed it — just as other industrial giants have opposed previous administration initiatives to dismantle climate-change and environmental rules. Some of the world’s largest auto companies have opposed Mr. Trump’s plans to let vehicles pollute more, and a number of electric utilities have opposed the relaxation of restrictions on toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.

From:  Trump administration ends automatic citizenship for some children of military, federal workers born abroad

Children born overseas to some American parents serving in the military or working for the federal government may no longer automatically claim U.S. citizenship if their parents had lived in the United States for less than five years, according to a new federal policy issued Wednesday.

Instead, officials said, those parents must apply for citizenship on behalf of their children before they turn 18 years old.

From:  Families shielded from deportations due to medical issues told to leave US in 33 days

The Trump administration has started denying pleas by non-citizens who are trying to extend their time in the U.S. in order to treat severe medical conditions.

Letters issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and obtained by ABC News, tell people applying for medical relief that agency offices, “no longer consider deferred action requests,” except for members of the military.

From:  Chinese Military Sends New Troops Into Hong Kong

HONG KONG — The Chinese military began sending a new group of troops into Hong Kong on Thursday, a move it described as a normal annual rotation of its garrison in the city, but one that was being closely watched because of the local political turmoil.

The move came hours before two organizers of the protests that have roiled the city said they were attacked, in separate incidents, by men with makeshift weapons, one in a restaurant and the other while giving an interview on a sidewalk. Also Thursday, the police denied a protest group permission to hold another large march through the city this weekend.

Chinese state-run media published photos and video of the troop movement, showing trucks, armored personnel carriers and a ship entering Hong Kong under cover of early-morning darkness.

From:  Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte returns as the country patches a new government back together

Nine days after he resigned when Italy’s government collapsed, Giuseppe Conte has returned as Prime Minister to form a new one that will exclude hardline leader Matteo Salvini from power.

Italy’s president re-appointed Conte to the role on Thursday, as the political crisis plaguing the country in recent weeks began to subside.

Conte will lead a new government comprised of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the center-left opposition Democratic Party (PD). The rival parties agreed Wednesday to form a coalition to prevent snap elections that would likely have been won by Salvini’s far-right League party.

From:  Surprise Georgia resignation jolts battle for the Senate

Sen. Johnny Isakson’s (R-Ga.) announcement that he will resign later this year due to health problems puts Republicans on defense, with another competitive seat on the ballot in an emerging swing state.

Democrats need to flip three states to win back the Senate if they also capture the White House. Only two Republicans are up in states President Donald Trump lost in 2016 — Colorado and Maine — meaning Democrats will have to win in red states to control the chamber.

Republicans now have to defend two seats in Georgia — which is also likely to be competitive in the presidential race — increasing the attention and money required to hold their grip on the rapidly shifting state.

2 thoughts on “Trump deregulates methane, ends automatic citizenship, deports sick immigrants, plus other news

    • That’s a good question, and I’m not sure if there is any clear answer. Since WWII, the U.S. has increasingly moved towards the so-called “Imperial Presidency” – i.e. an empowerment of the executive branch. Wherever the Constitution isn’t explicit, wherever laws passed by Congress aren’t specific, or wherever judicial interpretation of either is narrowly defined or otherwise open to reinterpretation, then the executive has room to assert itself. Theoretically, the legislative and judicial branches should provide a check on abuses of power; however, we’ve seen over the last two years that both (especially Congress) haven’t adequately fulfilled that role. What’s happening now with Trump is generally analogous to the way Hitler gradually seized power in the 1930s; although, the specific means are different.

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