IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Puerto Rico descends into desperation after Hurricane Maria; Trump Administration finally waives shipping restrictions to the island of 3.5 million U.S. citizens; PLUS: Some small bits of good news amid the bad... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Hidden Costs of climate change cost US $240 billion annually; For Puerto Rico, Maria was bad, the aftermath worse, but the future is the biggest challenge; U.S., Mexico reach deal to conserve Colorado River water; EPA threatens to stop funding DOJ enforcement actions; EPA Pruitt's chartered private jet flights cost taxpayers more than $58,000; Pollution could increase in Illinois as governor moves to rescue coal plants; Maryland sues EPA over interstate air pollution; Park Service showed bottled water ban worked, then lifted it; How military outsourcing turned toxic... PLUS: FERC calls court's call for climate test 'inappropriate'.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Puerto Rico in full blown humanitarian crisis in wake of Hurricane Maria's devastation:
- Puerto Rico Hurricane Crisis Worsens: This Could Be Trump's Katrina (Mashable):
It's been one week since Category 4 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, destroying the entire island's communications infrastructure, power grid, and leaving thousands homeless. The humanitarian crisis in the storm's wake is growing by the hour.
- VIDEO: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz - "This is a big SOS for anyone out there" (The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC)
- President Trump Press Conference on Puerto Rico Response - "We're doing a great job" (YouTube)
- Puerto Rico’s Drinking Water Crisis Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon (Mother Jones):
Hurricane Maria caused vast power outages, causing pumps at water treatment plants to fail across the island. After loss of water pressure, especially in a water system that’s as aging and leaky as Puerto Rico’s, there’s an immediate threat of bacteria and other contaminants seeping into the water supply. “The lack of ability to treat the water means that the raw sewage and floodwaters can contaminate the drinking source,” says Erik Olson a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
- Situation Update: DoD Support to Hurricane Relief Efforts [PDF] (Dept. of Defense)
- Puerto Rico's looming medical crisis is 'about to explode' (CNN)
- How Hurricane Maria will be more costly for Puerto Rico than Harvey was for Texas (Quartz)
- Trump warns Puerto Rico is in 'deep trouble' after Hurricane Maria (NY Daily News)
- Trump's lack of empathy about Puerto Rico is staggering (CNN:
Taken with his, and his vice president's, failure to visit the island thus far (Trump announced Tuesday that he would go next week --- "some people say, I read it this morning, it's literally destroyed") this seems to be an attempt to deflect accountability away from his administration's role in the recovery effort. As of Monday, according to an article in New York magazine, party leaders "were waiting for a formal disaster request from the Trump administration."
- Trump Admin. finally grants multiple requests to waive protectionist Jones Act:
- Trump Waives Jones Act for Puerto Rico, Easing Hurricane Aid Shipments (NY Times)
- The Protectionist Law That’s Hampering Puerto Rico’s Recovery (NewsWeek)
- The Jones Act, the obscure 1920 shipping regulation strangling Puerto Rico, explained (Vox):
Protectionism and exploitation at its worst.
- Trump Says ‘Shipping Industry’ Doesn’t Want Shipping Waiver For Puerto Rico (Talking Points Memo):
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was hesitant to lift the Jones Act in order to aid Puerto Rico following a devastating hurricane on the island because of “a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”...“But we have a lot of shippers, and a lot of people — a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted. And we have a lot of ships out there right now.”...Speaking on CNN after Trump’s statement, Jeremy Konyndyk, the former head of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, said Trump’s reasoning “almost sounds like profiteering by U.S. shipping companies off an emergency like this.”
- VIDEO: Puerto Rico Aid & the Jones Act post-Hurricane Maria (CNN)
- Trump Admin Charging Puerto Ricans Full Flight Price and Holding Passports to Evacuate Island (NewsWeek)
- US Virgin Islands also in dire need:
- In the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Maria Drowned What Irma Didn’t Destroy (NY Tomes):
As islanders wait for doctors, medicine, fuel and manpower to rebuild, the economic toll from the storms is only starting to come to light.
- Federal government to pay for all debris removal from Virgin Islands in wake of Hurricane Maria (PBS NewsHour)
- Nicaragua ratifies Paris Agreement, leaving Trump alone with Syria:
- Nicaragua Will Sign Paris Climate Accord, Leaving Only U.S., Syria on Outside (Weather Channel):
Nicaragua reportedly did not initially sign the deal because its leaders believed the agreement did not go far enough in reducing greenhouse emissions, arguing that richer nations should be required to take greater action because they are the ones primarily responsible for the increase in global warming, according to El Nuevo Diario...Nicaragua is also committed to renewable energy, getting more than half its energy from renewable sources. It also has plans to produce up to 90 percent renewable power by 2020.
- Trump increasingly isolated as Nicaragua to sign Paris Agreement (Deustche-Welle):
[E]arlier this week, Ortega told Nicaraguan state media that his country would soon sign the Paris Agreement, in solidarity with vulnerable countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean that had already done so.
- Nicaragua Joins Paris Accord, Leaving Trump Alone With Syria (Bloomberg)
- Washington State rejects permit for coal export terminal:
- Key permit denied for Longview coal terminal project (Washington State Dept. of Ecology):
Ecology denied the permit because the coal export terminal near Longview would have caused significant and unavoidable harm to nine environmental areas: air quality, vehicle traffic, vessel traffic, rail capacity, rail safety, noise pollution, social and community resources, cultural resources, and tribal resources.
- Washington state denies key permit for Columbia River coal terminal, potentially dooming project (Seattle Times):
“There are simply too many unavoidable and negative environmental impacts for the project to move forward,” said state Ecology Director Maia Bellon about the proposed Longview terminal.
- Last Pacific Coast Coal Terminal Nixed (Sierra Club Magazine):
Industry’s dream to export U.S. coal to Asia is dead.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page
- Hidden Costs of Climate Change: weather extremes, fossil fuel pollution cost US $240 billion: study (Reuters)
- For Puerto Rico, Maria was bad, the aftermath worse, but the future is the biggest challenge (LA Times)
- U.S., Mexico reach deal to conserve Colorado River water (AP)
- National parks struggle with overcrowding (NY Times)
- E.P.A. Threatens to Stop Funding Justice Dept. Environmental Work (NY times)
- Pruitt Took Charter, Military Flights That Cost Taxpayers Over $58,000 (Washington Post)
- Pollution could increase in Illinois as Rauner EPA moves to rescue coal plants (Chicago Tribune)
- Maryland sues EPA over interstate air pollution (Baltimore Sun)
- Blackstone, Apollo team up for bankrupt Westinghouse nuclear bid (Reuters)
- Maryland: Worker exposed to potential unsafe dose of radiation at federal lab (Washington Post)
- FERC Calls Court's Call for Climate Test of Pipeline "Inappropriate" (Tampa Bay Times)
- Pittsburgh: "PWSA Looks At Pipe Coatings To Tackle Lead Problem" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Park Service Showed That Its Bottled Water Ban Worked — Then Lifted It (Washington Post)
- After 350 Million Piñons Die, Scientists Fear For This Forest’s Future (Ensia)
- How Military Outsourcing Turned Toxic (Pro Publica):
Fraud. Bribery. Incompetence. The military’s use of contractors adds to a legacy of environmental damage.
- The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat (Politico):
Could carbon dioxide have an effect on human health we haven't accounted for yet? The answer appears to be yes...
- The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans? (New York Magazine):
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak - sooner than you think.
- A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy (Vox):
Clean-energy enthusiasts frequently claim that we can go bigger, that it's possible for the whole world to run on renewables - we merely lack the "political will." So, is it true? Do we know how get to an all-renewables system? Not yet. Not really.
- No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously (Vox):
If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page