Good things are happening! Southwest gets fined for its 2022 holiday meltdown, and the EPA could institute a ban on the chemical that burned in the East Palestine derailment disaster. What’s more, the Biden administration will stop most commercial logging in old-growth forests, and federal regulators demand that Starbucks reopen stores it closed after workers started organizing.

Southwest Airlines Finally Gets Fined

As millions prepare to fly for the holidays, many travelers are having flashbacks to last year’s Southwest Airlines meltdown, which stranded millions of travelers across the country during the holidays. Now, as people once again aim to fly home during the busiest travel time of year, the Department of Transportation will levy its largest-ever fine against the airline over its December 2022 meltdown.

The fine, which orders Southwest to pay a $140 million civil penalty to the government over consumer protection violations, is part of a broader consent order put in place to protect consumers, who have experienced deteriorating airline service in recent years. Southwest was already forced to refund $600 million for the 16,900 flights that were canceled last December.

Southwest, like many other airlines, received hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency funding while the industry went on an indefinite hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic. That funding, which was granted to keep the industry afloat, was intended to keep airline infrastructure running at normal capacity, and quickly get air travel back up to speed once people resumed traveling. Instead, airlines used the funds to reward executives and lay off staff.