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How Trump Maintains Anti-Regulatory Momentum


waving flag disclaimerAuthored by Luke Popovich | Updated 28 Feb 2017 at 7:36 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/how-trump-maintains-anti-regulatory-momentum/

One of the themes emerging from the new Trump administration is a focus on overturning onerous regulations currently smothering American industries. It’s a laudable goal, since government rules bear so heavily on middle-class job creation.

On Feb. 24, the president signed an executive order tasking officials with peeling back excess regulation. The president still faces a fairly big problem, however, since behind each regulatory door he opens, there are two more doors.

Essentially, the Obama administration spent its second term cooking up a wide array of environmental measures that were both ideologically conceived and bureaucratically cumbersome. And nowhere was such red tape stretched more aggressively than in the quest to keep coal and minerals in the ground.

Already, President Trump has followed through on some of his campaign pledges. For example, he signed a congressional resolution overturning the Obama-era “stream rule.” This massive rule simply duplicated existing measures to monitor coal mining and land reclamation. Thus, canceling the rule will not meaningfully impact environmental standards already in place. But it will lift the hefty costs intended to punish mining firms simply for extracting a carbon-based source of energy.

That’s merely step one for the Trump administration, though. There’s more to do. 


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First off, there’s the leasing moratorium imposed on coal reserves on federal lands. Even though federal coal accounts for 42 percent of total U.S. coal production — while being responsible for 40 percent of total coal-generated electricity in 2014 — the Interior Department decided last year to shut down new coal leases for three years.

This smacks of political payoffs to activists since taxpayers receive 39 cents from every dollar earned from federal lease sales while the net global “carbon contribution” from federal coal is negligible. The moratorium solved a problem no one had. The good news is that this moratorium can be lifted by the new Interior Department secretary as easily as it was imposed by his predecessor. Thus, after Ryan Zinke is confirmed for his post at the Interior Department, he could move quickly to end the moratorium.

Also in the administration’s purview is the Obama administration’s “Clean Power Plan” (CPP), the carbon reduction rule currently tied up in the D.C. Circuit Court. In essence, the CPP represents the zenith of regulatory ambition — a total transformation of the nation’s energy grid, engineered by an environmental agency hoping to impose the very cap-and-trade regime that Congress repeatedly rejected. The CPP is still breathing, but barely; it isn’t legally binding until the D.C. Circuit decides its dubious legality. But Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has reiterated his intention to scrap the plan — an encouraging prospect for the millions of Americans living in states that depend heavily on electricity from reliable and affordable coal-based power

And finally, there’s the blundering excess of the financial assurance requirement that Obama’s EPA hoped to impose on hard-rock mining companies. It is already standard practice for mining firms in the United States to post financial assurances for the reclamation, closure, and post-closure costs of any mining site. But the EPA simply decided to duplicate these requirements, even though the process is already being managed successfully by state regulators as well as by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

Why would the EPA want to increase the financial burden on mining companies by requiring them to lay out additional capital for the same costs they’ve already covered? Because green activists have waged an ideological campaign opposed to mining, and the EPA simply acquiesced to their agenda. Ignored by these same environmentalists is their reliance on the very metals and minerals they would keep in the ground.

Trump Should End Obama Coal Lease MoratoriumNew energy production on federal lands will generate affordable electricity for the entire country Smartphones, for example, contain more than 40 metals and minerals extracted from state-of-the-art mining operations. And solar panels and wind turbines require copious amounts of bauxite, boron, cadmium, copper, cobalt, iron, molybdenum, etc. The new financial assurance requirement is another example of an environmental agenda lacking any real-world practicality.

Mining matters greatly to the future security of the United States, however. And it’s not just the reliable, affordable energy that coal provides. Or the critical minerals needed for 21st century technologies. There’s also the thousands upon thousands of good-paying, middle-class jobs on the line, and the economic impacts for industry and manufacturing.

 

This is why the Trump administration must continue to root out regulations that were conceived in an ideological vacuum — with little to justify their massive impact. Dismantling an anti-coal regulatory edifice, and ending the blanket hostility to mining, will do much to secure affordable energy and a stronger industrial base for America.

Luke Popovich is vice president for external communications at the National Mining Association (NMA).

Trump Freezes EPA Grants to Liberal Pet Projects


waving flagAuthored by Edmund Kozak | Updated 25 Jan 2017 at 7:25 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/trump-freezes-epa-grants-to-liberal-pet-projects/

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Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency have reportedly been instructed to freeze all of the agency’s contracts and grant programs until officials in the new administration can conduct a top-to-bottom review.

“Right now we are in a holding pattern. The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments,” an internal email originally obtained by Pro Publica said.

In 2013, the EPA gave $84,000 to a researcher at the University of Michigan to study the effectiveness of using churches to promote environmental causes.

“The EPA awards more than $4 billion in funding for government grants and contracts each year,” Fox News reported on Tuesday.

A brief look at how some of that money was being spent under the Obama administration paints a clear picture as to why the new administration may be looking at an overhaul: In some cases, the Obama EPA has offered textbook case studies in how to waste taxpayer money on ideologically motivated projects.

> In 2014 the University of California, Riverside received $15,000 to create technology to reduce carbon emissions from those infamous scourges of the environment: barbecues. That same year, researchers at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University were given $15,000 of taxpayers’ money to build a pond on a roof, complete with a floating island.
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> Also in 2014, the EPA awarded $15,000 to the University of Tulsa to create a system that monitored how much water hotel guests used while showering. The proposal made the rather Orwellian promise that the “technology will … assist hotel guests in modifying their behavior.”

> As creepy and ideologically motivated as that grant may have been, at the very least it attempted to address domestic water waste. The agency gave $1.5 million to the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research to study pollution caused by residential cooking — in Africa.

> In 2013, the EPA gave $84,000 to a researcher at the University of Michigan to study the effectiveness of using churches to promote environmental causes.

“Climate change — which affects traditional faith-based efforts to improve human health, mitigate poverty and redress social inequity — is inspiring religious organizations to advocate for clean air and water, restore ecosystems, and conserve resources,” the grant stated. “This project seeks to understand the empirical experiences of faith-based environmental efforts within communities.”REALLY

> The EPA seems to really like the idea of using churches as political propaganda centers. In 2015, the Washington Free Beacon reported that the EPA gave a $30,000 “environmental justice grant” to a Unitarian church that has preached against “white privilege” and called America “structurally racist.”

While not spending money in foreign countries and encouraging pastors to promote radical environmentalism, the EPA also seems to have spent considerable funds trying to answer questions to which the collective wisdom of the human experience already knows the answer.

> In 2014, the EPA gave a post-grad student at the University of Oregon $84,000 to study the link between plants and people, and whether or not living in densely populated urban areas with little to no vegetation is unhealthy (it is).More Evidence

While it is not yet known if current contracts will also be affected by the grant freeze, militant environmentalists across the country are undoubtedly pulling out their hair in fury at the news that no longer will the EPA spend money on liberal pet projects. Responsible Americans who wish their tax money be spent prudently, however, are likely to support the freeze.picture1

Obama’s EPA Spending MILLIONS Overseas


waving flagAuthored by Ethan Barton, 11/23/2015

URL of the original posting site: http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/23/obamas-epa-spending-millions-overseas

U.S. President Barack Obama nominates air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency in the East Room of the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3EKGZ

U.S. President Barack Obama nominates air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency in the East Room of the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Larry

President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has doled out nearly $25 million to foreign nations and entities — including many countries with terrible environmental track records through 135 separate grants. Officials at the EPA defend the awards to international organizations and foreign governments since 2009.obama- Marxist tyrant

“Our limited international investments are focused where we can have the biggest environmental protection return,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison tells The Daily Caller News Foundation. “International grants allow the U.S. to engage internationally and address serious trans-boundary and global environmental problems affecting the public health and environmental quality of the US and its citizens.”Delusional Mental Illness Gibberish

International grants represent less than one percent of the agency’s annual grant-making total, she says.

“The Obama administration views climate change with such religious fervor they are turning EPA bureaucrats into global climate change missionaries armed with foreign aid grants,” Open The Books founder Adam Andrzejewski tells TheDCNF.

“It matters how EPA is spending taxpayer dollars and our oversight of the agency’s grants and grant management is ongoing,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton

Upton’s committee discovered in 2011 the EPA was sending millions of tax dollars overseas and also prompted a 2015 investigation into the agency’s grant oversight.

“A September report from the nonpartisan watchdog Government Accountability Office (GAO) sounded the alarm that EPA lacks an effective strategy to address grant management,” the Michigan Republican says. “As we move forward, EPA must address the problems identified in the GAO report and follow their recommendations.”

Russia and China are the largest recipients of EPA grants when excluding international groups, such as the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Health Organization (WHO), according to TheDCNF analysis of more than 100,000 grants.grants

Tied for the largest foreign grant is a $1 million award to a Washington state-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to reduce black carbon emissions from diesel sources in the Russian Arctic. Russia is nearly finished building a large military base in the region, but a laboratory spokeswoman says the project didn’t examine military vehicles, TheDCNF previously reported.

The other $1 million grant was awarded to the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) to manage a program that finances “Arctic Council projects addressing mitigation of black carbon emissions from diesel combustion,” according to the EPA.

NEFCO finances green growth investments and projects primarily in Russia, Ukraine, Pelarus, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as well as climate projects across the world,” according to the institution’s website.

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Those $1 million grants tie PNNL and NEFCO as the third biggest EPA recipients among international organizations. Those two grants alone also equate to almost half the foreign grant spending by EPA under Obama’s predecessor, President George W Bush.

The U.N.’s Environmental Programme and WHO are the top recipients, collecting $2.1 million and $1.5 million, respectively, according to TheDCNF analysis.

When international organizations are included, Switzerland rakes in the most EPA grant dollars with $1.8 million.

Of the 13 EPA grants to the country, 12 went to either WHO or a U.N. program. The remaining grant – worth $190,000 – was awarded to the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China to “strengthen China’s capacity to improve performance in five areas of environmental management,” including air and water.Delusional Mental Illness Gibberish

It’s unclear why the grant listed Switzerland as the “recipient country.”

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Why Did the Environmental Protection Agency Spend $1.4 Million on Guns?


waving flagReported by Ed Feulner / / October 30, 2015

Open the Books found that the agency has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear, and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities.(Photo: Skyhobo/iStock)

Even those of us who have worked in Washington for many years and become accustomed to the inner workings of government can still be amazed by what lurks behind the curtain sometimes. Case in point: the Environmental Protection Agency. Most Americans have at least heard of the EPA, even if they have only a dim notion of what the agency actually does. It tends to skate along under the radar, unless something unusual happens, such as the toxic spill that turned the Colorado’s Animas River orange last August. Of course, what really made the spill unusual is that the EPA itself caused it.

Otherwise, Americans don’t hear much about the agency. So many of them would probably be as unpleasantly surprised as I was by a new report by Open the Books, a nonprofit group that promotes government transparency. Its look into the EPA’s spending habits is alarming, to put it mildly.

The first thing that strikes you is the EPA’s spendthrift ways. Even if times were flush and government coffers were overflowing (which is far from the case), the agency spends money like it’s expecting the Second Coming next week. The Open the Books audit covered tens of thousands of checks the EPA wrote from 2000 to 2014, with hundreds of millions going toward such things as luxury furnishings, sports equipment, and “environmental justice” grants to raise awareness of global warming.

The second thing that hits you is where the rest of the money goes. The headline of an op-ed by economist Stephen Moore in Investor’s Business Daily sums it up well: “Why Does the EPA Need Guns, Ammo, and Armor to Protect the Environment?” And not just a few weapons. Open the Books found that the agency has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear, and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities.

“We were shocked ourselves to find these kinds of pervasive expenditures at an agency that is supposed to be involved in clean air and clean water,” said Open the Books founder Adam Andrzejewski. “Some of these weapons are for full-scale military operations.”

Among the EPA’s purchases:

  • $1.4 million for “guns up to 300mm.”
  • $380,000 for “ammunition.”
  • $210,000 for “camouflage and other deceptive equipment.”
  • $208,000 for “radar and night-vision equipment.”
  • $31,000 for “armament training devices.”EPA Tyranny

The list goes on. It’s filled with the kind of equipment you’d expect to be purchased by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not an agency ostensibly designed to protect the environment.

But as it turns out, armed, commando-style raids by the EPA are not unheard of. One such raid occurred in 2013, in a small Alaskan town where armed agents in full body armor reportedly confronted local miners accused of polluting local waters. Perhaps the agency is gearing up for more operations like that one?

If so, the EPA wouldn’t be all that unique. According to the Justice Department, there are now 40 federal agencies with more than 100,000 officers authorized to carry guns and make arrests. They include the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Comming Soon 02

The EPA audit underscores the need for serious budget cuts at the agency. In July, before the Colorado spill and the Open the Books report, environmental policy expert Nicolas Loris called on Congress to shrink the EPA’s budget, outlining several specific cuts that could be done immediately and with no detrimental effect on the environment.

“The proposed cuts outlined here merely scratch the surface of a rogue agency that has wildly spent and regulated outside its purview,” Loris concluded. After reviewing the Open the Books report, who can disagree?EPA monster 2

Originally published in The Washington Times.

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Did the EPA try to create its own militia?


waving flagPosted by on October 22, 2015

A congressional committee will investigate reports that the Environmental Protection Agency wasted billions of dollars, including an effort to create its own militia with a prosecution arm to mirror the FBI’s.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, told Watchdog.org that a House committee will dig into allegations the EPA bought designer furniture and sporting goods equipment, and handed out hefty employee bonuses and grants to foreign countries – including China.

The charges are outlined in a recent report by Open the Books, a non-profit dedicated to transparency and oversight of government spending. The group analyzed agency spending beginning in 2000.

Despite budget sequestration, which mandated cutbacks and no raises, the EPA has  thrived with its $8.13-billion budget, up $500 million from 2009. In fact, every president has increased the budget since Ronald Reagan in 1981.

“How can the EPA justify spending taxpayer dollars on questionable items like luxury furnishings and sports equipment?” asked Smith. “The agency also appears to have funneled millions of dollars to organizations outside the U.S. The EPA needs to remember they are accountable to the American taxpayer and should justify every dollar they spend.”EPA Monster

Smith, who heads the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, reviewed a copy of the Open the Books report provided by Watchdog, and said the committee “intends to investigate the possible misuse of public funds.”

The EPA is already on Smith’s bad side for withholding requested documents pertaining to the Animas River spill in Colorado as the committee prepared for a Sept. 9 hearing. During the hearing, an EPA official told the committee the Gold King Mine was walled off as a result of a cave-in. In fact,  the EPA created the barricade, which allowed water to collect behind it — bursting when a hole was drilled, mine owner Todd Hennis told Watchdog.

Lawmakers in that hearing and another committee from the Senate blasted the EPA for its heavy-handed military-style treatment of citizens and companies who inadvertently create spills by “running them out of business” and “forcing them to go bankrupt.”EPA monster 2

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said the EPA should be contacting the FBI for heavy-duty law enforcement action if any is needed.

Regardless, some-200 EPA “special agents” have the “latest state-of-the-art ‘policing’ gear such as ‘guns and ammunition up to 300MM,’ ‘camouflage and other deceptive equipment,’ ‘night vision,’ ‘unmanned aircraft,’ ‘radar,’ ‘body armor,’ ‘surveillance equipment,’ ‘mobile GPS monitors,’ and (they) train and investigate frequently alongside joint projects with Homeland Security,” the report said.Tyranney Alert

Click here to read more from Watchdog.org.

The EPA and other federal agencies are out of control, constitutionally and otherwise. It’s time to bring them back in line. An Article V Convention of States can restore the Founders’ vision of a limited federal government and curb the power of this and other overreaching federal agencies.

Click here to get involved!

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President Obama Orders EPA to Poison the Citizens of Crested Butte Colorado with Cancer Causing Cadmium


That would have been the Headline if President Bush were still in office. Here is the REAL Headline.

Jerry Broussard of WhatDidYouSay.org.


EPA crew at Standard Mine above Crested Butte triggers waste spill

Republican critics pounce on agency but locals still praise EPA willingness to step up and tackle toxic mines

By Bruce Finley, The Denver Post

An Environmental Protection Agency crew working at the Standard Mine above Crested Butte triggered a wastewater spill into a creek that flows into the town water supply — a small-scale repeat of the Gold King incident this year.

Only an estimated 2,000 gallons spilled Tuesday, amid efforts to open a collapsed portal. The impact on town water is expected to be minimal.

Critics pounced.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said the spill — while not a disaster like the EPA-triggered 3 million-gallon Gold King deluge that turned the Animas River mustard-yellow — raises questions about EPA procedures.

“They told us things were going to be different. Now we have a spill. … We’ve apparently got a real challenge with the EPA, not only with notification but their accountability and their ability to adequately execute these types of cleanup projects,” Tipton said. “They’ve got resources. They’re the ones in charge of the program. And they’ve had two spills in my district alone. Is there a better way to approach this?”

The Standard Mine, five miles west of Crested Butte and abandoned, has been designated an environmental disaster since 2005 and targeted for a superfund cleanup. It is one of an estimated 230 inactive mines in Colorado that state officials know to be leaking toxic heavy metals into headwaters of the nation’s rivers.

EPA work at the Standard Mine was halted after the Aug. 5 Gold King blowout above Silverton — pending an EPA review of procedures at old mines. The Standard Mine work resumed Sept. 5.

Tuesday spill

The spill happened at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the EPA said it immediately informed public works officials. Residents weren’t notified. Crested Butte Mayor Aaron Huckstep said he wasn’t notified until Thursday.

EPA officials on Wednesday, responding to Denver Post queries about the mine, didn’t reveal the spill. On Thursday afternoon, the agency issued a prepared statement saying that, based on neutral acidity and creek flow levels, Crested Butte didn’t close its water intakes. “Subsequent investigation found no visible plume or signs of significant impacts in downstream locations,” the EPA said.Picture1

At the cleanup site, acidic wastewater laced with cancer-causing cadmium and other toxic heavy metals leaches out of the mine into Elk Creek, which flows into Coal Creek — a primary source of water for Crested Butte. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has determined that the levels of arsenic, cadmium and zinc in Coal Creek exceed state standards. Huckstep requested EPA help testing water in Elk Creek, Coal Creek and in town.

“I want to make sure that the EPA’s work is being done in a diligent manner and that their contractors are following the right procedures. We’d like to see these types of events not happen,” Huckstep said.

“Obviously, after Gold King, there’s a high level of public concern and attention — rightfully so. … The EPA is willing to come in and do the work. We support that. But we want to make sure that these types of circumstances don’t happen.”

The local Coal Creek Watershed Coalition began additional water sampling along the waterways “to determine what the impact of the spill was,” director Zach Vaughter said.

“While this event is unfortunate, we have a great cooperation and partnership with the EPA working on our watershed. … From what I understand, they’ve kept town staff and the coalition in the loop.”

The EPA has been working toward installation of a long-planned bulkhead plug inside the mine, an effort to reduce the flow of acidic wastewater leaching cadmium, arsenic, lead and manganese from tailings and tunnels.

How it happened

EPA crew members were drilling a new opening at the mine, parallel to a portal that is partially collapsed. They were using a vacuum truck to siphon water from a waste pond, but the truck “dipped too low,” the EPA’s statement said, causing grey-colored water from inside the mine and sediment to spill into Elk Creek.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who threatened legal action after the Gold King disaster, said she’ll do all she can to protect state resources and hold the EPA responsible. “Once again the Environmental Protection Agency has apparently endangered Colorado’s waterways while drilling at an abandoned mine,” Coffman said. “I continue to be concerned that the EPA wants to zealously regulate Colorado’s resources but refuses to be accountable for their own activities when they negatively impact our state.”

Bruce Finley: 303-954-1700303-954-1700, bfinley@denverpost.com or @finleybruce

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Judge blocks new federal rule on jurisdiction of waterways


waving flagPublished August 28, 2015; FoxNews.com

EPA Monster

Thirteen states led by North Dakota asked Erickson to suspend guidelines that they say are unnecessary and infringe on state sovereignty. The federal government says the new rule clarifies ambiguity in the law and actually makes it easier for the states to manage some waterways. It wasn’t immediately clear if the injunction applied to states other than the 13 led by North Dakota.”

The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.

State officials in North Dakota said the new rule will cost the state millions of dollars and take away from more important programs. State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said there’s “confusion and anxiety” among farmers and other landowners over the initiative.

North Dakota congressman Kevin Cramer called the judge’s ruling a “victory:” “North Dakota landowners and energy workers and their peers around the country will be temporarily spared the devastating consequences of an onerous rule. This is appropriate, given the judicial history of this issue and its impact on states and property rights. The injunction provides time for Congress to continue working toward a fix and for a complete judicial review of the legal merits of the rule.”

SEE FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORT BELOW:

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At the very least, state officials argued, more time was needed to study the rule, which was finalized on May 27.

The government lawyers said during a hearing in Fargo last week that North Dakota’s objection wrongly assumes some bodies of water will be affected. They also argued the state is already going through some of the permitting procedures they’re complaining about.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem — along with attorneys general and officials from 30 other states — sent a letter last month to the EPA and the Army Corps asking that the law be postponed at least nine months. Lawyers for the states say they heard nothing back from the government, so they filed a request for a preliminary injunction.

The federal government said the request for an injunction was better suited to be heard by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rather than a federal judge, but Erickson rejected that notion.

“The Waters of the United States rule is unlawful and an abuse of executive power,” said Julia Slingsby, press secretary of the Natural Resources committee in a statement to Fox News. “The judge’s decision to block the rule— which was challenged by 13 states – is encouraging, especially as EPA’s credibility has been questioned in the past month. The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.” 

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