The Trump administration’s energy department is rolling out a lengthy report touting oil and gas as “providing energy security and supporting our quality of life”, without acknowledging that fossil fuels are the main cause of the climate crisis.
Released a month before the election, the report is strikingly at odds with the realities of climate change that the American public has been coping with over the past few months, from huge wildfires to destructive derecho storms and a series of intense hurricanes.
The cover of the report features verdant produce and a happy couple cooking over a gas stove. The department uses the word “climate” in the report only once, in reference to an industry initiative. The department estimates it spent about $200,000 on the project.
“Over the past two decades, Americans have witnessed dramatic growth in our nation’s ability to produce the oil and natural gas needed to power our vibrant economy and support our modern lifestyle,” the introduction says.
The report doesn’t cover any of the industry’s downsides – from fueling climate change to polluting communities where it operates and providing the feedstock for plastic waste that is covering the earth. It focuses on the national security values of US energy independence but does not mention that the defense department frequently names the climate crisis as a threat.
Assistant secretary of fossil energy Steve Winberg said the report is meant to assist in the department’s goal of increasing oil and gas production in the US, which president Donald Trump made official in an executive order early in his term. Already, the US is a net exporter of oil and gas.
Donald Trump’s election campaign may claim the president has beaten Covid-19, but it fell foul of the NFL’s copyright rules on Tuesday.
The campaign tweeted a video of the San Francisco 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk leaping over a Philadelphia Eagles defender on his way to scoring a touchdown during Sunday’s game between the two teams. The campaign superimposed Trump’s head on Aiyuk’s body with Covid-19 as the Eagles defender. The video was a reference to the president’s release from hospital after treatment for Covid-19. He also told Americans that they shouldn’t be “afraid of Covid”, a virus that has killed more than 200,000 people in the US.
However, on Tuesday the video was removed from Twitter with a message that said “this media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner”. The video also showed a brief clip of an anti-Trump protester from an ITV News report. It is unclear if ITV News or the NFL, which Trump has regularly criticised over player protests, requested the removal.
Trump’s attempts to downplay the dangers of Covid-19 have been attacked by public health experts and doctors. There has also been speculation that the president has downplayed the toll the virus has taken on his health. There may be a warning from the video too: the Eagles came back from 14-8 down to win Sunday’s game 25-20.
The president often depicts himself as a model of sporting excellence. He is proud of his golf game, although there are many stories of him cheating. He has also claimed he could have played baseball professionally, although his record in high school suggests otherwise.
Failure to provide more support for households and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic could have “tragic” economic consequences, the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, warned.
As Congress remains gridlocked over a new round of stimulus in the wake of the coronavirus recession, Powell warned: “The expansion is still far from complete.”
“At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship,” he told a virtual economics conference.
Republicans have warned against providing too much money for the unemployed, arguing the cash is a disincentive for people to return to work. But the risks associated with overly generous relief were smaller, Powell said: “Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste.”
In contrast a prolonged slowdown could exacerbate existing racial and wealth disparities in the economy, which “would be tragic, especially in light of our country’s progress on these issues in the years leading up to the pandemic”, Powell said.
Read the original article at The Guardian