Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

Trump demands quick rollout of “6G” wireless tech, which doesn’t exist

February 21st, 2019
President Donald Trump speaking into a telephone.

Enlarge / “Hello, operator? Hi, this is the President. I need the best phone you can find. Not 5G, this is America. Let's go with 6G. I want all the Gs, the best Gs.” (credit: Getty Images | Washington Post)

US President Donald Trump today urged wireless carriers to deploy 5G and "6G" networks "as soon as possible," seemingly ignoring the small problem that 6G technology doesn't exist yet.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," Trump wrote on Twitter this morning. "It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind."

In a second tweet, Trump said that 5G and 6G are "so obviously the future."

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Posted in 5G, 6g, Policy, Trump | Comments (0)

Trump admin ends talks with California to find fuel-efficiency middle ground [Updated]

February 21st, 2019
Trump admin ends talks with California to find fuel-efficiency middle ground [Updated]

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

On Thursday, the White House released a joint statement along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), saying that the executive branch would no longer work with California's air regulator to find a middle ground on vehicle fuel-efficiency rules.

The state regulator, called the California Air Resources Board (or CARB), has enjoyed a legal waiver since the 1970s to set more stringent fuel-efficiency standards than those set by the EPA. Generally, automakers find that they must follow CARB's more stringent standards, because the vehicle market in California is so huge. But the Trump administration has been working to weaken vehicle fuel efficiency, and CARB's exemption is preventing the administration from fulfilling that campaign promise.

In August, the Trump administration announced the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Act. SAFE proposed to freeze Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards—which would gradually make passenger vehicles more efficient until 2025—at 2020 levels. The Trump EPA claimed that the old rule would kill people, because efficient vehicles are more costly, so people put off buying newer, safer cars.

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Posted in Automotive, cars, DOT, Energy, EPA, fuel efficiency, Trump | Comments (0)

T-Mobile CEO, execs stay at Trump hotel while lobbying Trump administration

January 16th, 2019
Entrance to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Enlarge / Entrance to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. (credit: Trump International Hotel)

T-Mobile's CEO and other executives have repeatedly stayed at President Trump's hotel in Washington, DC while lobbying the Trump administration for approval of T-Mobile's proposed acquisition of Sprint, according to a Washington Post story published today.

The Post's investigation is titled, "T-Mobile announced a merger needing Trump administration approval. The next day, 9 executives had reservations at Trump's hotel."

T-Mobile and Sprint announced their $26 billion merger on April 29 last year and are still seeking approval to merge from the US Department of Justice, Federal Communications Commission, and state regulators. T-Mobile executives have faced skepticism about the deal from federal and state regulators, according to a report by The Capitol Forum. A coalition of consumer advocacy groups has been warning regulators that the deal will harm competition, raise prices for wireless consumers, kill up to 30,000 jobs, and result in worse wireless service.

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Posted in merger, Policy, Sprint, t-mobile, Trump, trump hotel | Comments (0)

Big Pharma ushers in new year with price hikes on hundreds of drugs

January 2nd, 2019
Ian Read, chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc. spoke with President Trump last July about pausing drug price hikes. Pfizer now plans to increase prices of 41 of its drugs later this month.

Enlarge / Ian Read, chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc. spoke with President Trump last July about pausing drug price hikes. Pfizer now plans to increase prices of 41 of its drugs later this month. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

More than three dozen drug companies welcomed the new year with sweeping price hikes on hundreds of medicines, according to a new analysis from Rx Savings Solutions, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The drugs that saw list-price increases on January 1 ranged from generics and blood-pressure drugs to brand-name prescriptions such as the dry-eye treatment Restasis. The average price jump blew past inflation at 6.5 percent, with some medicines seeing double-digit increases—bucking many drug companies' vows to keep such periodic hikes under 10 percent.

Despite public and political pressure on pharmaceutical companies to reign in soaring drug prices, Tuesday's wide-ranging increases are no surprise. In December, Reuters reported that 28 drug makers had filed notifications with California agencies that they planned to raise drug prices. (A recently passed law in the Golden State requires drug makers to provide notification if they plan to raise US lists prices by more than 16 percent over a two-year period.)

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Posted in Allergan, drug pricing, Pfizer, Pharmaceutical industry, science, Trump | Comments (0)

As US coal use drops to 1979 levels, EPA may ease rules on new coal plants

December 5th, 2018
Uncovered coal trains

Enlarge / An eastbound Norfolk Southern Corp. unit coal train passes through Waddy, Kentucky. (credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears poised to roll back Obama-era rules that effectively prevented new coal plants from opening in the US. The rules required new coal plants to emit no more than 1,400 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour (MWh), a constraint that is nearly impossible for new coal generators to meet without carbon-capture technology.

According to anonymous sources speaking to The New York Times, the EPA will announce a rollback of this rule on Thursday, effectively making it possible for energy companies to build new coal plants that emit up to 1,900 pounds of CO2 per MWh, which is more in-line with emissions from modern coal plants without carbon capture.

Although the Obama-era regulations didn't prohibit the construction of new coal plants, opponents of the rules said the carbon-emissions caps were an effective prohibition, because carbon-capture projects are few and far between and are quite expensive to implement.

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Posted in Biz & IT, coal, Energy, Policy, Trump | Comments (0)