Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Reminder for Scott Pruitt: You are in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency not the Fossil Fuel Protection Agency

 "It's just an acceptance...people are just resigned to having ill-health."

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States on November 8, 2016. With his election and the appointment of Scott Pruitt, former attorney general of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental and clean energy activists knew they would be fighting many challenges to laws and regulations that the administration and the fossil fuel industry intended to roll back. Their fears and expectations have become reality. Mr. Pruitt’s actions—budget cuts, animosity towards career staffers, dismissal of staff recommendations—have demoralized EPA employees who are scientists, analysts, researchers, and lawyers, who possess expertise in their fields and who have served both democratic and republican administrations throughout their careers. Qualified, dedicated personnel have left the agency while Pruitt has filled a few key positions with industry insiders and fossil fuel lobbyists hostile to environmental protections and renewable energy technologies.

Donald Trump has taken executive actions to roll back Obama-era regulations and laws. Scott Pruitt has actively fought to destroy the EPA and its mandates over his long career in government. He is not only slowly dismantling the EPA and alienating staffers, but he also has ethical and spending issues. Pruitt is now under investigation over his profligate spending on the taxpayer dime, including but not limited to: booking first-class flights (at least $105,000 worth), flying on private and military aircraft, spending $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office as well as millions of dollars on a 20-person 24/7 security detail. None of his predecessors have had that level of protection.

Secrecy and industry ties make a mockery of his position as protector of the environment and, by extension, the health of U.S. citizens. Pruitt is accused of lying to lawmakers during his confirmation hearing about using a private email address to conduct business as Oklahoma’s attorney general and his alleged use of multiple EPA email addresses to currently conduct business is raising eyebrows. Pruitt’s closest aides received sizable salary increases while he refused pay raises for rank-and-file employees. He received a sweetheart deal on a D.C. condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist, he has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry and has used their studies to set policy or deregulate, while rebuffing input from environmentalists and scientists.  

Here is a sampling of the actions the EPA under Scott Pruitt’s guidance has taken per Columbia Law School’s climate deregulation tracker:

October 10, 2017:     EPA Proposes to Rescind Clean Power Plan

The above doesn’t include actions taken by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other governmental departments to loosen regulations or repeal them. These actions range from the expansion of off-shore drilling,the review of national monuments with the goal to open those lands to oil and gas drilling as well as land development, and hitting the solar industry with a 30% tariff thus making it more expensive for Americans to go solar and crippling the industry. Fortunately, most of these actions are currently in the review process so are delayed or the courts have stopped them from being implemented or repealed.

So, what to do?

First, educate yourselves about the issues. Learn why and how the EPA came about, what its goals were and are, and how its actions over the decades have improved the health of our planet and the people living on it. Then seek information about existing problems and search for solutions to solve them. What are the costs and benefits of policies to both the fossil fuel industry—which will remain a part of any energy plan implemented in the near-future—and the clean energy sector. There is no way to eliminate the coal and oil industries immediately—if ever—and replace them solely with wind, solar, and other renewables. However, we need to invest and work towards a world in which renewable energy is the predominant means of meeting our energy needs.

Second, organize with like-minded people. Protests can have power, but also work within your community to encourage citizens to contact their legislators. Register voters, especially those interested in preserving the environment and embracing the new technologies and well-paying jobs that the clean-energy sector offers.

Third, as already stated above, make your demands known by reaching out to your legislators be it in writing (a letter or email) and these days, increasingly, via social media. My legislators are all on Facebook and Twitter. Put pen to paper then send editorials to your local newspaper, or shoot for the big-time publications, such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Washington Post, or your state’s major publication.

Fourth, encourage your legislators to pressure the President to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. At the current moment, that may be a fantasy, but it never hurts to try. In lieu of U.S. participation in the climate accord, it behooves cities, towns, and states to act locally—as some are already doing—to help meet the Paris Climate goals set in 2015.

Lastly, vote. This is the most important action any citizen can take to engage in their community, state, and nation. Your vote matters, more than you know. If you desire change of any sort, you must make your voice heard via the ballot box. Otherwise, you are letting others make decisions that may negatively affect your life. Register to vote if you are not registered, then get out there and make a difference.

This is your world, your and your family's lives and well-being are at stake, so you must fight for it. Planet earth is our only home. We must protect it for generations to come.

I leave you with this:

Related articles:

Friday, May 04, 2018

Barack Obama’s Environmental Legacy: A Mixed Bag but Progress in the Right Direction

President Barack Obama passed legislation and enacted, via executive order, significant environmental protections and green energy initiatives during his two terms in office. More could’ve have been accomplished had he possessed a like-minded Congress that supported his agenda. Democrats only held the majority in Congress from 2009 through 2010 of Obama’s first term. However, over the following six years, the President would find his agenda and policies stymied at every turn by Republicans, hence, his use of executive orders.

Obama's environmental legacy has received mixed reviews all along the political spectrum.  Criticisms on the left are that he did not go far enough, especially regarding climate legislation; while the right insists he went too far with his “job-killing” regulations. Below are some articles that critique President Obama’s environmental and clean energy policies.

Forum:  Assessing Obama’s Record on the Environment via Yale Environment 360 (July 25, 2011)

11 Problems with President Obama’s Climate Change Plan via The Daily Signal (June 26, 2013)

Here is a short list of Obama’s environmental achievements (You can see the entire list and read about them in Obama’s Remarkable Environmental Achievements via Legal Planet, November 2, 2016.):

  • Jumpstarted the green economy
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for new vehicles
  • GHG standards for power plants and factories
  • Mercury controls for power plants
  • Established more national monuments than any other president in history
  • Designated some 580,000 square miles of ocean off Hawaii as a national monument
  • Signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act
  • Blocked construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Brought 299 species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act
  • Set energy efficiency standards for commercial conditioners and furnaces
  • Stricter air quality control standards
  • Negotiated the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement on June 1, 2017.)

Environmentalists and clean-energy activists were expecting this trend of environmental-friendly regulations and policies to continue with the election of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the presidency. That hope was crushed on November 8, 2016, with the election of Donald Trump. Republicans would now hold power in the executive and legislative branches of government. With that power structure in place, an all-out assault would take place on environmental and green-energy policies as well as on the Environmental Protection Agency itself, especially with the appointment of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the agency administrator.

Pruitt filed fourteen lawsuits against the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general. He has close ties throughout the fossil fuel industry, an industry he is now employed to oversee and regulate. Pruitt has certainly made those hostile to the EPA happy with the actions he's taken since his appointment. Now, however, Mr. Pruitt finds himself mired in controversy due to ethical challenges and lavish spending habits using taxpayer money. He has also been deregulating at an alarming pace. We will examine his impact since taking hold of the reins at the EPA in the next post.   

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The EPA is under's a reminder why it's important

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt goes before Congress today to answer questions about his spending habits and ethics issues. Not only has Mr. Pruitt spent lavishly and carelessly, he is also deregulating at a rapid pace, putting the health of Americans and our environment at risk. In light of all this, it behooves us to review the EPA's history and mission as well as how it has improved the quality of American lives over the past 48 years. 

One needs only to remember, or see photos of (Documerica), the condition of the environment in the United States in 1970 to realize the EPA's value. Documerica is a photo project created from 1971 to 1977 to document the condition and transformation of the environment as new regulations were put in place and clean-up efforts began. We have come a long way since then in improving the environment and protecting U.S. citizens from toxins associated with pollution.

Republican President Richard Nixon signed an executive order to create the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. You may be surprised by that fact given today’s Republican party's animosity towards the agency. However, it is the truth. Nixon's executive order was not only a wise action, but a beneficial one, one that has improved the quality of life for many Americans. The EPA's mission is short and simple: The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. 
The campaign to reduce pollution and improve the environment was widespread. Those of a certain age will remember this commercial: 

The post-EPA years have resulted in a cleaner, healthier country. The agency's research, recommendations, and regulations have improved the quality of the air we breathe, the land on which we live and toil, and the water we drink and use for transportation and recreation.

Some of the major laws enacted throughout the years include but are not limited to:

1970 – The Clean Air Act
1970 – Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act
1972 – Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments
1972 – Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
1972 – Marine protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act
1973 – Endangered Species Act
1974 – Safe Drinking Water Act
1975 – Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
1976 – Toxic Substances Control Act
1977 – Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
1980 – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Created
            the Superfund Program)
1980 – Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
1982 – Nuclear Waste Policy Act
1986 – Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
1990 – Oil Pollution Act
1992 – Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act
1997 – Kyoto Protocol
2005 – Energy Policy Act
2007 – Energy Independence and Security Act
2016 – Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

The site I used to compile the above list is here. The reader can see on the site that during the 1970s, there were 16 major pieces of legislation passed by Congress. That shrank to 10 and 11 laws in the 80s and 90s, respectively, to 5 from 2000 – 2010, and only 1 since 2010. The regulatory landscape was obviously changing. 

In the 80s, the Reagan administration viewed environmental regulations as a burden on the economy and overreach by "big government," and so commenced an era of deregulation and cuts to the EPA's budget and staffing levels. In the 90s, some conservative groups—legislators, think tanks, media, the fossil-fuel industry—organized a massive campaign (that is still ongoing) to challenge climate scientists and climate policy in an effort to foster denial and doubt about climate change and that it was/is largely due to human activities.

Each time a different political party won the presidency or gained the majority in Congress, there has also been a corresponding change in environmental policies, either supporting or impeding the EPA's mission. Democratic administrations tend to expand the agency's authority, while Republican administrations prefer to weaken it via deregulation and budget cuts.  

Environmentalists across the country and around the globe cheered when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. We’ll examine his environmental legacy in the next post.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Syria and the future of the world

Legislators in our country, on the left and right, can’t agree on anything, and because of this, we have no clear Syria policy or serious plans to help the Syrian people, so they continue to die and suffer at the hands of the Assad regime and other bad actors in the region. If Mr. Trump cared about Syrian children, as much as he claims, he wouldn’t bomb that country (as he did last night with limited air strikes), but rather, he’d open up our refugee program to more Syrians. The US has only taken in eleven Syrian refugees this year. Shame on the U.S. Shame on the world for allowing this carnage to continue while closing our borders to those desperate to escape the violence. 

If we decide to engage in an extended military campaign in that country--which may be necessary at some point--we must get more allies on board, especially those in the Middle East; establish a clear strategy and end game; strengthen diplomatic efforts with Turkey and Russia, and yes, even engage with Iran; and do everything in our power to minimize collateral damage (e.g., the killing of innocent civilians). 

The U.S. currently has no ambassador in Turkey, who is a NATO ally. An ambassador should be assigned, especially since Turkey seems to be working against the U.S. in Syria due to their own self-interest. Turks see the Kurds as their enemy, so they have attacked Kurdish fighters who are assisting American troops fighting against ISIS, thus undermining U.S. efforts. (Note: This is an extremely abbreviated version of Kurdish/Turkish animosities, given the length of this post. I encourage you to delve deeper into this relationship with your own research or read the excellent article, “Syrian Kurds: The Other Woman in America’s Relationship with Turkey,” in The American Conservative.)

Jon Huntsman, Jr's ambassador appointment to Russia was a smart move on Donald Trump's part. Huntsman is an honorable man and a capable negotiator. He possesses a cool head and that will be needed as ties between the U.S. and Russia become increasingly strained and/or deteriorate.

More complicated, is the non-relationship between the U.S. and Iran. The U.S. has had no formal diplomatic relations with Iran since April 7, 1980. The one negotiation with Iran in recent years that is cautiously promising is in the Non-Proliferation arena. Although it is controversial in some circles and could definitely be improved upon, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Deal) finalized in July 2015 is a step in the right direction to containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. 

I don’t give the Obama administration a pass on Syria either, but the American people were/are weary of war. He wanted Congress to approve a military strike on Syria, but they refused. (Remember: Congress is the body of government who declares war.) 

This is a moment in history when future generations will look back and ask: What were you thinking? It’s the same with climate change...what were you Baby Boomers and GenXers thinking? We hold the prosperity and health of future generations in our hands with the policy decisions we make today. Will those policies support short-term or long-term goals? I am nearly always in favor of policies supporting the long-term ones. Short-term policies are for emergencies, like financial crises or natural disasters. 

We hold future generations’ lives—be they domestic or foreign ones—in our hands. We can make a positive difference in the world, secure it for posterity’s sake, leave it a better place for them, if only we possess the will. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - March 20 Edition

NCAA Basketball, UMBC, Higher Education

"People now know the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as the ultimate Cinderella, an overnight social media sensation, the team that magically emerged as the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the history of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. But our story is far less fairy tale than it is classic American dream. Our magic comes from questioning expectations, putting in the hard work, and staying focused.

The nation saw the results on the court Friday night. My colleagues, students, alumni, and their families came to the game knowing the team would give the game their all. Our men’s basketball team embodies our definition of grit. We knew the players were bringing both passion and preparation to the game. We knew that they would listen to the guidance of head coach Ryan Odom, support one another, give their individual best, and get tougher and tougher as the game went on.

Nevertheless, like the rest of the world, we were stunned—not only by the outcome but by their execution to the end. Everybody thought it couldn’t be done because it hadn’t been done. And then we did it."

Science, Space

"Stephen Hawking submitted his final scientific paper just a week and a half before he died, and it lays the theoretical groundwork for discovering a parallel universe.

Hawking, who died Wednesday at 76, was coauthor to a mathematical paper that seeks proof of the "multiverse" theory, which posits the existence of many universes other than our own.

The paper, called "A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation," had its latest revisions approved March 4, 10 days before Hawking's death.

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, the paper is due to be published by an unnamed "leading journal" after a review is complete."

War, Syria, Social Media

"Najem, who resides in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, a suburban area in southwestern Syria that surrounds the city of Damascus, has been documenting the Syrian Civil War through his Twitter account since December 7, 2017. The teen posts photos, videos, and messages that capture what it’s like to be one of the many children and teenagers forced to fight to survive in the middle of the war.

The Vietnam War took a turn when the news began broadcasting images of coffins covered with American flags returning home; a change in public opinion put pressure on the American government to end the war. Muhammad Najem’s documentation of war on social media isn’t just a cry for help, but also a vivid portrait of how war can damage lives and societies. By watching Najem’s digital diary, followers must more vividly confront the hardships the Syrian people are facing. Najem’s personal perspective gives the madness of war a human face. Hopefully, this brave teen’s use of social media will compel other leaders to act in the face of this atrocity."

Community Development

"In 2015, roughly 5 million American youth (about 1 in every 8 individuals between the ages of 16 and 24) were disconnected, neither working nor enrolled in school. Rural counties suffer from a relatively high disconnection rate — a staggering 20.3 percent — but there is hope. In communities rife with high rates of child poverty and stagnant local economies, local organizations like Mississippi Action for Community Education (MACE) work to guide opportunity youth along pathways to economic security while teaching them responsibility, discipline, and other skills necessary to succeed.

Karen Jacobson, executive director of the Randolph County Housing Authority, matches disconnected youth in Appalachia with opportunities for vocational advancement. This is often done by matching youths with jobs serving other vulnerable populations, especially senior citizens in need of personal home care. “We’re now placing 15 to 20 percent of our cohorts each year in the health care field,” Jacobson said.

Mable Starks, president and CEO of MACE in Greenville, Mississippi, agreed that integrating opportunity youth into the social fabric of their hometowns is key. She works to improve education fulfillment and employment opportunities for disconnected youth through the MACE program, established by community leaders in 1967 to uplift rural development in the Mississippi Delta. This includes YouthBuild, which trains students in construction through building housing for low-income families. “A hundred percent of our students who come into YouthBuild are active voters,” Starks said. “It takes a community to build a community.”"

Neonatal Care, Maternal Health

"In Great Britain, midwives deliver half of all babies, including Kate Middleton’s first two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. In Sweden, Norway and France, midwives oversee most expectant and new mothers, enabling obstetricians to concentrate on high-risk births. In Canada and New Zealand, midwives are so highly valued that they’re brought in to manage complex cases that need special attention.

All of those countries have much lower rates of maternal and infant mortality than the U.S. Here, severe maternal complications have more than doubled in the past 20 years. Shortages of maternity care have reached critical levels: Nearly half of U.S. counties don’t have a single practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, and in rural areas, the number of hospitals offering obstetric services has fallen more than 16 percent since 2004. Nevertheless, thanks in part to opposition from doctors and hospitals, midwives are far less prevalent in the U.S. than in other affluent countries, attending around 10 percent of births, and the extent to which they can legally participate in patient care varies widely from one state to the next.

Now a groundbreaking study, the first systematic look at what midwives can and can’t do in the states where they practice, offers new evidence that empowering them could significantly boost maternal and infant health. The five-year effort by researchers in Canada and the U.S., published Wednesday, found that states that have done the most to integrate midwives into their health care systems, including Washington, New Mexico and Oregon, have some of the best outcomes for mothers and babies. Conversely, states with some of the most restrictive midwife laws and practices — including Alabama, Ohio and Mississippi — tend to do significantly worse on key indicators of maternal and neonatal well-being."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - March 13 Edition


“As data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights shows, Black girls are more likely to be suspended than any other group of students other than Black boys. Nationwide, Black girls are 5.5 times more likely than white girls to be suspended from schools across several states. In the District of Columbia, Black girls make up 73% of girls enrolled in schools, and 94% of all girls suspended. This is not a result of worse behavior in classrooms, but the result of racist stereotyping of Black women as aggressive or hypersexual. Half of Black girls’ suspensions are for minor offenses such as violating the dress code, chewing gum, or talking back to a teacher. These behaviors don’t pose threats to classmates or disrupt teaching. But they challenge society’s idea of femininity– white femininity.

As a result, these girls are seen as disruptive and unfit for the classroom environment.

Even when students’ behaviors rise beyond these minor, subjective offenses, there are many creative solutions schools can employ other than immediately suspending or expelling students of color. Schools can start teaching conflict resolution practices, yoga, or meditation, all of which target the issue head on and are valuable skills for later life as well. Schools could also bring kids in the classrooms together to solve problems as group. Or, as an alternative to focusing on the punishment, schools can start focusing on prevention. Finally, instead of spending money on law enforcement officers, schools can hire more counselors who have experience with kids going through issues.

The stakes are just too high to push girls out of school. Studies have shown being suspended once increases a child’s chance of dropping out of school.”

Flint, Michigan, Water Crisis, Good Deeds

“Will and Jaden Smith founded JUST in 2015 to provide a green alternative to plastic bottles and to invest in communities. JUST’s bottles are 82 percent plant-based, and the company has initiated long-term investments in Glens Falls, New York, the city where the water is sourced.

The Flint water crisis became a national topic in 2014 after city officials began using the Flint River as the town’s main water source. The city’s pipes were dangerously corroded, and they polluted the water with dangerously high levels of lead. In one study, the Environmental Protection Agency found lead levels in the city’s water to be as high as 397 parts per billion, far above the federal limit of 15 ppb.”

Legacy, School Lunches, Good Deeds

“The initial intention was to raise $5,000 to pay off the lunch debt at J.J. Hill, knowing that Castile himself would regularly dip into his own pocket to ensure kids who had no money could still get their lunch.

But as the money rolled in, the fundraisers broadened their goal, attempting to feed all students in St. Paul.

And they did just that, FOX 9 reports that this week they presented a check of more than $106,000 to St. Paul schools that is enough to cover the lunch debt of all 56 public schools in St. Paul.

"That means that no parent of the 37,000 kids who eat meals at school need worry about how to pay that overdue debt," fundraisers wrote on YouCaring.

"Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out. One by one. With your help," it added. "Your donations will fill that pocket for years to come. Thank you for your generosity."”

Medical Debt, Good Deeds

““In 2014, Ashton joined up with Craig Antico, who also worked in debt collections, to form RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization, which focuses on buying and forgiving medical debt.

Their effort went slowly at first. “The first couple of years our wives were wondering why we were going into debt to get other people out of debt,” he said. “We were struggling.”

“If it had not been for John,” he said, “we would be standing on a street corner with a paper cup."

Ashton is referring to John Oliver, who, on a June 2016 episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, did a scathing report on credit collection practices and the people targeted with repeated phone calls, calls to employers, garnishing wages, court cases, and so on.

It’s all too common an experience: About a third of Americans with credit were contacted by a debt collector or creditor within a year of a recent survey by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Of those, more than half of people who were contacted about a past-due bill were contacted about a medical bill.

Oliver, after excoriating the medical debt system and the politicians who enable it, made an announcement. He had formed a collection agency of his own (which, he said, proves that a complete idiot can create a collections agency), and—with no credentials apart from a minimalist website—purchased nearly $15 million worth of debt for just under $60,000, less than half a cent on the dollar. This purchase entitled him to the names, current addresses, and social security numbers of those who owed the debt, even if the debt was so old it was called zombie debt. And with this information, he acquired the right to try to collect debt.””

Read more to find out what happened next.

Environment, Energy, Regulations

“President Donald Trump’s administration has been on a deregulatory bender, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations. As of January, the New York Times counted 67 environmental rules on the chopping block under Trump.

This is not one of Trump’s idiosyncrasies, though. His administration is more ham-handed and flagrant about it, but the antipathy it expresses toward federal regulation falls firmly within the GOP mainstream.

Republicans have been complaining about “burdensome” and “job-killing” regulations for so long that their opposition to any particular health, safety, or environmental regulation is now just taken for granted.

For instance, why would the Environmental Protection Agency close a program investigating the effects of toxins on children’s health? Is there some evidence that the money is wasted or poorly spent? Why would the EPA allow more unregulated disposal of toxic coal ash? Don’t people in coal regions deserve clean air and water? Is there any reason to think coal ash is currently well-regulated?

These questions barely come up anymore. Republicans oppose regulations because they are regulations; it’s become reflexive, both for the party and for the media the covers them.

The report was released late on a Friday, with Congress out of session and multiple Trump scandals dominating the headlines. A cynical observer might conclude that the administration wanted the report to go unnoticed.

Why might that be? Well, in a nutshell, it shows that the GOP is wrong about regulations as a general matter and wrong about Obama’s regulations specifically. Those regulations had benefits far in excess of their costs, and they had no discernible effect on jobs or economic growth.”

Career Advice, Inspiration

Chelsea Handler is the author of five New York Times best-selling books.

She runs her own company, Borderline Amazing Productions, and makes a multi-million dollar living as a woman in comedy, an industry dominated by men.

In 2012, she made Time Magazine's list of Most Influential People, and she has also been on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list.

She is, by all accounts, extremely successful.

But she didn't start out that way. She wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth; in fact, her first job was as a waitress, where she brought spoons to others.

It was during that waitressing gig at 23 years old that she learned a lesson that would serve her for the rest of her career, and what she passes along now as her best career advice:

"When you make a commitment, keep it."”