Jeff Abramson is senior fellow at the Arms Control Association. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN. (CNN)Less than 10 days after six children and three women of a US family of were killed in Mexico, drawing national and international alarm, the Trump administration indicated it would move forward with a dangerous policy change that would make the types of weapons most likely used in that tragedy easier to export. The move seemingly skirts Congress and is counter to the apparent will of the American public. The change is tone deaf to today's needs and must be stopped. Jeff Abramson Found at the site of the brutal killings of members of the LeBaron family November 4 were more than 200 shell casings, according to Mexican officials, used primarily in AR-15-type assault rifles, weapons of choice of Mexican cartels. Recognizing the dangers these weapons can pose in fueling and extending conflicts around the globe, their export has for … [Read more...] about Trump administration’s dangerous plan to make it easier to export assault weapons
William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN)For a man who regularly rails against the activities of criminal gangs and has claimed victory in the war on ISIS, President Donald Trump sure plays fast and loose when it comes to keeping weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn't possess them. Just last week, his administration formally notified Congress of changes in US export rules that will make it easier for criminals to acquire US firearms. According to the Forum on the Arms Trade, an informal global network of experts of which I am a member, the new rules would transfer jurisdiction over exports of everything from semi-automatic rifles to some types of grenades, from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. The systems covered by the change include AR-15 style rifles, which have been used in mass shootings like … [Read more...] about Trump’s new gun export rules could aid terrorists, tyrants and criminals
Foreign markets are lining up to purchase American coal by widening amounts as U.S. coal consumption reaches its lowest level in more than three decades. Power plants’ consumption of coal dropped to 298 million short tons in the first half of 2018, a sharp fall from 312 million in the same period last year, according to a Thomson Reuters report. This marks the lowest level of consumption since 1983 and a reflection of the coal industry’s declining status as natural gas continues to grow.Coal-fired generation diminished by 32 billion kilowatt hours during the first six months of 2018. Much of this decline has been attributed to the closure of coal plants and operators choosing to run their coal facilities for fewer hours. The future for coal does not appear to be any better: Another 9 gigawatts of coal-fired generation in the U.S. is expected to shut down by 2020. At the same time, the country’s natural gas industry is booming. Thanks in large part to the invention and … [Read more...] about US Coal Use Hits 35-Year Low, But Exports Are Booming
U.S. coal exports are expected to surge 10 percent in the next year, according to new forecasts by the Energy Department’s statistics arm. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that while coal production will fall one percent in 2018, exports will surge 10 percent above 2017. Coal exports were up 32 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same time the previous year.It’s good news for President Donald Trump, who promised to help get coal country back on its feet during the 2016 campaign. Coal is part of Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda. During Trump’s first year in office, coal exports surged 61 percent, largely thanks to demand in Asia where economic growth increased the amount of coal countries needed to fuel their economies. Now, it looks like Asian growth will cause U.S. coal exports to further increase. (RELATED: Jerry Brown’s Plan For ‘Negative’ CO2 Emissions Is Based On ‘Science … [Read more...] about Analysts Expect US Coal Exports To Continue Surging In 2018
Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:TOP STORIESHow to Address Homelessness in L.A.?As homelessness has exploded in Los Angeles, taxpayers have been willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on housing, shelters and services to help get people off the streets. But a new poll shows that a broad majority of voters think the city and county have been ineffective in spending that money and that new policies are needed — and they have several ideas. Advertisement For a deeper understanding of the crisis, columnist Steve Lopez spent months reporting on those who live on the streets of Hollywood (on top of his years of reporting on the subject more broadly).In three columns, Lopez examines the story from different angles: through the eyes of residents dealing with a homeless encampment growing outside their windows, from the perspective of those who live in the camp and walking the beat with a cop trying to make a difference.Gun Violence Claims More VictimsFresno … [Read more...] about Newsletter: How to address homelessness in L.A.?