Global News March 29, 2017

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  2. Global News March 29, 2017

The Guardian
“Brexit will have consequences for UK, says Theresa May as article 50 triggered”

Theresa May has told parliament that she accepts Brexit will carry consequences for the UK, as a letter delivered to Brussels began a two-year countdown to Britain’s departure from the EU. The prime minister made a speech on triggering article 50 minutes after the European council president, Donald Tusk, confirmed he had received notification. He declared that “the UK has delivered Brexit” nine months after a bruising referendum campaign. Rolling coverage of the triggering of article 50, starting the process taking the UK out of the EU, including Theresa May’s statement to MPs, the article 50 letter, and reaction and analysis. “We understand that there will be consequences for the UK of leaving the EU. We know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect the European economy. We know that UK companies that trade with the EU will have to align with rules agreed by institutions of which we are no longer a part, just as we do in other overseas markets. We accept that,” she said. A number of MPs congratulated the prime minister on the tone of her letter to Tusk, which stressed Britain’s commitment to the continent as a close friend and ally. But others accused her of issuing a “blatant threat” to withdraw security cooperation if the EU27 fail to deliver on a trade agreement. The letter suggests that the government hopes to roll the separate issues together, claiming no deal will mean WTO rules but also that “our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened”. May’s spokesman repeatedly insisted placing security and trade relations alongside each other in the letter to Tusk was not intended as a threat. “It’s a simple statement of fact that if we leave the EU without a deal, then the arrangements we have as part of our EU membership will lapse,” he said. The prime minister said Wednesday was “a day of celebration for some and disappointment for others” – a point underlined as passionate campaigners on either side of the debate rose after her statement to put forward their arguments.


“Storm chasers killed in crash while tracking tornado”

The three storm chasers pursued the raging tornadoes for years. When others fled, they drove closer to the spinning winds. That’s what they were doing Tuesday, when their two cars rammed into each other 5 miles west of the Texas city of Spur. All three men died, officials said. The incident happened when a black Suburban traveling north ran through a stop sign and collided with a Jeep traveling west, according to Sgt. John Gonzalez of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri, was driving the Suburban. The passenger was his friend and fellow storm chaser, Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville. The Jeep’s driver was Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Arizona. While he was pursuing the same tornado, it’s unclear whether he was with the two men. All three were chasing a tornado in Dickens County, Lt. Bryan Witt said.


New York Times
“Coal Miners Hope Trump’s Order Will Help. But Few Are Counting on It.”

Eddie Mounts, the son and grandson of miners, describes the past few years in coal country as a time of economic plague. Businesses closed and people scattered, he said. They went to Tennessee, North Carolina, anywhere work could be found. If they had to learn a new trade, they did that, too. The source of the affliction, he insisted, could be traced to Washington, to the Obama administration and to regulations that Mr. Mounts, 54, said were intentionally designed to shut down the mines: “Shut them down and get them not working.” So, he was thrilled with the news on Tuesday that President Trump was signing an executive order aiming to roll back some of those regulations. “It may take a couple of years to catch fire again,” Mr. Mounts said. “But I think it will.”
It is hard to overstate the antipathy in coal country to the Obama administration’s regulatory approach, beyond even the rules that Mr. Trump has moved to undo. It included the Clean Power Plan, which would shutter older coal-fired power plants, and which the Trump administration is planning to rewrite, but also the assertiveness of federal health and safety regulation. Some saw these as mere attempts to bully the mines.


The Economist
“Donald Trump launches an attack on climate-change policy”

Donald Trump continues his assault on environmentalism. On March 28th he signed an executive order instructing America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw and replace Barack Obama’s flagship energy policy, the Clean Power Plan. Among other measures, the «Energy Independence» order requests the reversal of a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands and dispenses with rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas sites. Courtrooms and lawyers surely await. The Clean Power Plan was unveiled in August 2015. It directed states to work out how to cut emissions from power plants to avoid 870m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 (as measured against levels of emissions from 2005). The policy was supposed to have the equivalent effect of taking 80m cars off the road. It was also meant to underpin international climate pledges made by America. But legal challenges from 27 states saw the Clean Power Plan put on hold by the Supreme Court a little over a year ago.
Because it has never been implemented, the Clean Power Plan’s demise hurts less than green groups suggest. Mr Trump’s action could prove largely symbolic. Around 30 states already require power companies and utilities to increase their use of renewable energy over the next decade. And states with economic heft, such as California, are already climate champions. The Golden State has passed legislation decreeing that by 2030 its greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by 40% as measured against 1990 levels. Even in Republican strongholds, like Texas, Congressional subsidies have helped wind projects to thrive.