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Energy & Environment Biden expands VA benefits to burn pit victims

Energy & Environment Biden expands VA benefits to burn pit victims

Energy & Environment Biden expands VA benefits for burn pit victims
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The Department of Veterans Affairs is increasing disability compensation for people with nine types of cancers that it believes are linked to burn pit exposed. Democrats are also taking aim at gasoline prices in a key House race.

This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source of the latest news about energy, the environment, or beyond. This newsletter was sent to you by someone who isRachel FrazinandZack Budryk of The Hill.Register here


The Biden administration is shrinking the amount of land eligible for drilling at an oil reserve in the Arctic. 

Monday’s announcement by the administration was that it would revert to an Obama administration plan which would have allowed the government to lease up 52 percent of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve for oil and gas exploration. It reverses a Trump-era plan which would have allowed for 82 percent of that reserve to be opened. Read more.

Burn pit exposure compensation could be extended to more vets

Because of their exposure to toxic burn pits, the Biden administration is increasing benefits for veterans with rare forms of respiratory cancers.  

The Veterans Affairs (VA) Department said Monday it would issue a final interim rule that adds the cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities. 

This allows those with the affected cancers to receive disability compensation.

With these new presumptives, Veterans who sufferfrom theserarerespiratorycancers willfinallygetthe world-classcareand benefitsthey deserve,without having toprovecausalitybetween theirserviceand their conditionDenis McDonough, VA Secretary

The military has used open air areas known as burn pits to dispose of trash in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq.  

Monday’s VA statement stated that it has determined biological plausibility between respiratory tract cancers and airborne hazards. It stated that it is difficult to find additional evidence due to the rarity of the illnesses and their severity.  

The agency will process the disability compensation claims of veterans who served in Southwest Asia between August 1990 and the present.

Biden also spoke out on the subject, saying that it was possible and necessary to do more to address the dangers posed by hazardous exposures. Unfortunately, this has gone unresolved for far too many years.

The nine cancers in question

  • Squamous cell carcinoma of larynx
  • Squamous cell carcinoma in the trachea
  • Tracheal adenocarcinoma
  • Tracheal tumors of the salivary gland type
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma in the lung
  • Lung cancer caused by large cell carcinoma
  • Lung cancers of the salivary gland type
  • Sarcoid carcinoma of lung
  • Atypical and typical carcinoid of lung

The Hills Jordan Williams provides more information on the issue.

Democrats get aggressive over gasoline prices

In an apparent attempt to rewrite the script, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), launched a billboard in Kansas that targeted Amanda Adkins, Republican House Candidate, over rising gas prices. 

Politico was the first outlet to report on the billboard located in Kansas 3rd Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.).  

The billboard reads, Pain at the pump? Amanda Adkins opposes tax cuts.  

The debate over gas prices has helped to define the district’s House race, which will be between Davids & Adkins.  

Davids has called on the federal gas tax to be suspended in an effort decrease gas prices which have soared in recent months. Davids ran a radio commercial in March that highlighted the issue and hit Adkins for his opposition to a gas tax holiday.  

Adkins campaign called the federal tax holiday on gas for political theater in a statement made to The Hill. 

According to the statement, Kansans pay nearly $4 per gallon at the pump as well as an additional $5,000 per year for goods and service. 

Kansas families want relief, and not a publicity stunt. Gas prices rose $0.55 in the past week, as of March 8, when Sharice Davids voted against American Energy Independence. Kansans still pay too much at the pump despite the $0.18 federal tax being removed. Sharice isn’t willing to face voters because of her record of causing catastrophic inflation and destroying American energy independence. 

The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCC), reacted against the billboard in a statement to The Hill, Monday.  

Kansans know Joe Biden and Sharice Davids are anti-energy policy makers, Maggie Abboud, NRCC spokesperson said. 

Learn more at The Hills Julia Manchester.


U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Monday that American power providers should be working to convince members of Congress to take action on climate change. 

Kerry said that he believes one of the things you could really assist us with is the Congress of the United States. This was during the 6th Global Electrification Forum.

See Also

There are still too few deniers, too many doubters, and too many people who don’t see the economic upside.– U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on efforts to combat climate change.

While few members of Congress have denied the existence of climate change, Republican members have often downplayed it or presented the economic fallout from aggressive action as the greater danger.

Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., falsely claimed it doesn’t exist.   

Kerry explained to Baxter that industry leaders have a special credibility because you are huge employers. You create new products, and you keep the economy running.  

I believe if you can speak to the brightness and future on the opposite side of this, that will have a profound impact upon our ability to get the investment tax credit and production tax credit to do what we need. Who knows, maybe there will be a discussion about pricing carbon, which could have a profound effect on our ability to move forward. 

Learn more about his comments here.


The Hills Sustainability ImperativeWednesday, April 27 & Thursday, April 282:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT daily

Sustainability is not optional. It’s a must-have. Everybody has a role. The Hill will host its second annual festival on April 27 and 28. This festival will bring together policy leaders and practitioners from the sustainability ecosystem. Interviews withEnergy SecretaryJennifer Grholm, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. Actress Sigourney WeaverAndMore.Register today to reserve your spot


  • Rising sea levels, climate changes putting at risk beloved New England lighthouses (WCVB5) 
  • N.J. air pollution among the worst in U.S. Report says that efforts to reduce diesel emissions are paying off ( 
  • Russia’s War is Turbocharging the World’s Addiction to Coal. (Bloomberg). 
  • The Wall Street Journal: Man behind Earth Day Says There’s Too Much Greenwashing
  • Slovenia’s populist PM loses election to environmentalist party-election commission (Reuters) 

Let’s not forget something fun and off-beat.Twitter bought by Elon Musk

This is it for today. Thanks for reading. For the most recent news and coverage, visit The HillsEnergy & Environment. We hope to see you again tomorrow.


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