Ep 75: Climate Progress, Tech and Sustainability in the Trump Era with Alexandria McBride
This week, Alex McBride discusses the growing importance of clean energy, the case for harmonizing energy efficiency standards, and the importance of collaborating with the new Administration in her tech advocacy work.
“[We’re] trying to understand the new administration’s priorities and hoping to find some ways where we can continue to advocate for energy efficiency and smart efficiency.”
In this episode, we discussed
- the top 3 environmental tech policy issues policymakers should be focusing on.
- a review of environmental legislation the tech sector is advocating for.
- how advocates can work most effectively with the Trump administration.
Tech sector leaders reacted in strong opposition to Trump’s immigration ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. The leaders of major tech companies cited not just the effect the ban would have on their bottom lines, but on what they personally felt. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said it is time for the nation to link arms and that the ban is un-American. Lyft CEO Logan Green said the ban runs counter to Lyft’s inclusive culture and said the ban conflicts with both Lyft and the nation’s core values. Google’s Sergey Brin, whose family fled Russia in 1979, participated in the protest at San Fracisco International Airport saying that he too is a refugee. The company also released statement. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg released a statement opposing the measure, as did Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is an India-native. But President Trump has not budged, although Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham — both Republicans — publically opposed the executive order on Monday.
Journalists covering violent protests during Trump’s inauguration parade were arrested and charged with felony rioting. Journalism advocates have been denouncing the charges. Jonah Engles Bromwich has the story in The New York Times.
As late as Wednesday, Trump Senior Advisors Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon had active private email address on the Republican National Committee domain. While there is nothing illegal about using an RNC domain to keep political and state business separate–the George W. Bush administration was accused of using RNC domains to quote-unquote “lose” 22 million emails. And the Trump campaign of course accused Hillary Clinton of breaking the law when she used her own private email domain for official State Department Business. The RNC was also hacked into last summer, raising questions about the security of the RNC’s email server. Nina Burleigh covers this for Newsweek.
FBI Director James Comey will be staying on under Trump. Comey is 4 years into his 10-year term. Matt Zaptosky and Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post note that it would be extremely unusual for a president to remove an FBI director, even though Comey is see by many in Washington to have interfered with the U.S. election by making public specious claims about Hillary Clinton’s emails just 11 days before the election.
The White House ordered the Environmental Protection Agency and Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Health and Human Services to stop making social media posts, blogging, and updating official content until getting approval from White House officials, according to a report by the New York Times’ Coral Davenport. So-called black ops websites of the White House and the National Park Service, which claim to be operated by actual federal employees posting to Twitter anonymously, emerged following the order. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denies the White House gave any such directive. The black ops Twitter handles include @RoguePOTUSStaff and @AltUSNatParkService.
Russian officials have arrested on suspicion of treason a Russian cyberintelligence official whom Americans said oversaw hacks that interfered with the U.S. presidential election. It’s not clear what Sergei Mikhailov, a senior officer of the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B.,–basically the new KGB–actually did, but Andrew Kramer has the story in the New York Times.
Verizon is reportedly making a bid for Charter Communications. Charter is valued at around $80 billion. Charter acquired Time Warner Cable last year. Shalani Ramchandran, Ryan Knutson and Dana Mattioli have the story in the Wall Street Journal.
Finally, Brian Fung reports for the Washington Post that Trump has named Maureen Olhausen acting Federal Trade Commission Chair. Olhausen, a free-market Republican, has been with the agency since 201. Her term expires in 2018.