Archive for the ‘Trump’ Category

Trump tries to shut Huawei out of US market with executive order

May 16th, 2019
Customers purchase mobile phones at a Huawei store in China.

Enlarge / Customers purchase mobile phones at the Huawei Experience Center on May 16, 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. (credit: Getty Images | VCG/Long Wei)

The Trump administration yesterday took two actions that could effectively prevent Huawei from buying US technology and prevent it from selling products to US companies.

An executive order issued by President Trump and a separate action taken by the US Commerce Department could "cut the Chinese telecommunications giant off from American suppliers and ban it from doing business in the US," The Wall Street Journal wrote.

The order doesn't mention Huawei or China by name, but it was widely seen as targeting Huawei and other Chinese companies such as ZTE. Huawei is the second-biggest smartphone vendor in the world, according to IDC, and it sells a large amount of network equipment to telecom providers and other companies.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Biz & IT, china, Huawei, Policy, Trump | Comments (0)

Trump administration puts offshore drilling expansion in Arctic, Atlantic on ice

April 26th, 2019
An offshore oil drilling rig.

Enlarge / Shell has halted the controversial oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea, citing the marginal discovery of oil was "not enough to continue the search for the foreseeable" future. In a statement on September 28, the company said, "Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future." (credit: Photo by Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbis via Getty Images)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, the Department of the Interior's new secretary, David Bernhardt, said that the Trump administration would indefinitely suspend its plans to expand offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and several areas in the Atlantic ocean. The Secretary did not appear to comment on whether the administration would move forward with offshore drilling in areas outside of those regions.

The decision not to pursue lease sales in the Arctic and some areas of the Atlantic is a significant one for the Interior Department (DOI) and the Trump administration, which promised to roll back drilling moratoriums that the Obama administration had imposed.

The plan to open up Arctic and Atlantic waters to offshore oil drilling hit a snag in late March, when a federal judge in Alaska ruled that the Trump administration could not open up federal waters to oil and gas extraction after the Obama administration closed those waters. The Obama administration relied on a 1953 law called the "Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act" (OCSLA) to close the waters to drilling. That law allows sitting presidents to close waters, but it says nothing about the president's power to re-open waters. Originally, Congress opened the federal waters in question to lease sales, so the thought is that Congressional approval would be required again to reverse former President Obama's closures.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in department of the interior, Energy, offshore drilling, oil, Policy, science, seismic imaging, Trump | Comments (0)

Another judge sets back Trump attempts to open up federal lands to fossil fuels

April 22nd, 2019
Aerial view of a coal mine in Utah.

Enlarge / Coal mine in Utah. (credit: Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

On Friday, a federal judge in Montana District Court dealt the Trump Administration another setback pertaining to leasing out federal lands for fossil fuel extraction.

In an order (PDF), the judge said that the US Department of the Interior (DOI) had to conduct a review of the impacts of its decision to lease federal land for coal mining under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Under the Obama Administration, the DOI placed a moratorium on leasing federal land out for coal mining. The move was expected to have significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions: according to the Friday order, "the federal coal program, as of 2014, stands responsible for an estimated eleven percent of total United States greenhouse gas emissions." Coal use has tumbled in the five years since 2014, but it still remains a significant fuel source in many parts of the country.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in coal, drilling, Energy, federal lands, oil, pilicy, Policy, science, Trump | Comments (0)

House votes to restore net neutrality as White House threatens Trump veto

April 10th, 2019
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) speaking while standing behind a podium and holding a paper copy of a net neutrality bill during a press conference, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats look on.

Enlarge / Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), left, discusses a net neutrality bill as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) listens during a news conference in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

The US House of Representatives today voted to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules, approving a bill that would reverse the Trump-era FCC's repeal of rules that formerly prohibited blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. The vote was 232-190, with 231 Democrats and one Republican supporting the bill, and 190 Republicans voting against it. Four Democrats and six Republicans did not vote.

The bill isn't likely to become law, though, as it could be either blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate or vetoed by President Trump. White House staff on Monday recommended that Trump veto the bill, claiming that the net neutrality repeal spurred new broadband deployment—even though Federal Communications Commission data doesn't actually support that conclusion.

The Democrats' "Save the Internet Act" doesn't even seem likely to reach Trump, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared it "dead on arrival."

Read 32 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in FCC, house, Net Neutrality, Policy, Senate, Trump | Comments (0)

Trump to staff on AT&T/Time Warner merger: “I want that deal blocked!”

March 4th, 2019
President Donald Trump speaking to a crowd.

Enlarge / US President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on Saturday, March 2, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump tried to pressure the Department of Justice into blocking AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner Inc., according to a new report by The New Yorker. However, White House staff apparently ignored the president's orders to pressure the DOJ, and it's not clear whether Trump ever made any demands to the DOJ directly.

The New Yorker report—titled "The Making of the Fox News White House"—details Trump's close relationship with Fox and his disdain for Fox competitors that provide less-glowing news coverage of his presidency.

Trump has long made his hatred of CNN well-known, and during his campaign he promised to block AT&T's proposed takeover of CNN owner Time Warner. The Trump administration's DOJ in November 2017 filed a lawsuit to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner. But whether Trump had intervened wasn't clear—AT&T ultimately succeeded in court and completed the merger, despite failing in an attempt to prove that Trump meddled in the merger review.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AT&T, DOJ, Policy, time warner, Trump | Comments (0)

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."

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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.)

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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