IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Tiny Montana company's mysterious $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico's electric grid; Non-partisan GAO reports climate disasters have already cost US taxpayers $350 billion; Trump's US Ambassador to Canada invents new form of climate denial; PLUS: On the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, new study warns no US city is prepared for climate change impacts... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP Senate advances Trump industry nominees to key regulatory positions; Tesla installs solar + storage battery system at Puerto Rico children's hospital; Interior Dept. scrubs climate change from its strategic plan; Trump to auction off vast swath of Gulf of Mexico to oil companies; Plan to drill in US marine sanctuaries sent to Trump, not to public; Electric buses are coming and they're going to help fix 4 problems; EPA to review impact of efficiency rules, environmental rule on fossil fuel jobs; 17 national parks could see huge fee hike... PLUS: Donald Trump: Bird Killer.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Tiny Montana company's mysterious $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico's electric grid:
- Puerto Rico just hired 2 contractors with little experience to fix its broken power grid (Vox)
- Emergency Manager to Be Installed at Puerto Rico Power Utility (Wall Street Journal):
Sources say oversight board looking to eventual privatization of PREPA.
- Whitefish: Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on (Washington Post)
- Scrutiny intensifies of Whitefish company's $300M Puerto Rico contract (AP)
- Oklahoma City firm secures $200 million contract to restore power in Puerto Rico (News OK)
- Puerto Rico Governor Is Asking The DHS Inspector General To Review The Whitefish Energy Contract (Buzzfeed)
- Lawmakers seek probe of power contract to Zinke neighbor (Washington Post)
- Puerto Rico considers privatization for island's generation (Utility Dive)
- AUDIO: 'Worse by the Day': Puerto Rico's Struggle ('BradCast' 10/23/2017, The BRAD BLOG)
- Puerto Ricans must be wary of offers to help solve energy crisis (Ramon Cruz, op-ed, The Hill)
- Firm restoring Puerto Rico's power threatened to quit (Guardian UK):
Whitefish hit back in a tweet: “We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?”...Whitefish had only two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on 20 September, killing more than 50 people and knocking out power to the whole island. The company has since contracted more than 300 workers...
- Report: on 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, no US coastal city is prepared:
- New York City could see flooding of 7.4 feet every 5 years, study says (CBS News)
- 3 new studies suggest the ocean could rise more — and faster — than we thought (Washington Post)
- New York City’s fate is closely tied to Antarctic ice, climate scientists warn (Washington Post):
Rising seas could leave New York facing a Sandy-style storm every five years, new research finds.
- GAO reports climate change is already expensive, and costs will grow rapidly:
- Climate Change: Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure (GAO):
Climate-related impacts, such as coastal property damage, have already cost the federal government billions of dollars, and these costs will likely rise in the future. We found that information on the economic effects of climate change is developing and imprecise, but it can convey insights into the nation's regions and sectors that could be most affected. As an initial step in establishing government-wide priorities to manage climate risks, we recommended that the Executive Office of the President use information on economic effects to help identify significant climate risks and craft appropriate federal responses.
- VIDEO: Government Accountability Office says climate change already costing U.S. billions (CBS News)
- Congressional Auditor Urges Action to Address Climate Change (NY Times)
- Trump's inaction on climate change carries a big price tag, federal report finds (LA Times):
The Trump administration’s reluctance to confront climate change threatens to create a massive burden on taxpayers, as a lack of planning by federal agencies leaves the government ill-equipped to deal with the fallout from rising temperatures, according to independent congressional investigators.
- US Government Accountability Office argues for acting on climate change (Ars Technica) [emphasis added]:
It concludes that the feds faced a bill of $350 billion due to extreme weather and fires, including more than $200 billion for aid and recovery, $90 billion for payouts on crop and flood insurance, and nearly $30 billion for repair to federal facilities. US government scientists expect that extreme events are likely to increase in a warming climate, and the GAO sees no reason to doubt that conclusion, accepting a figure of between $12 and $35 billion of added annual expenses by mid-century. For comparison, the annual budget of NASA is $18 billion.
- Trump's US Ambassador to Canada tries out new climate denial tactic:
- VIDEO: New U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft says she believes 'both sides' of climate science (CBC):
Trump said earlier this year he would pull the United States out of the accord that was signed by former president Barack Obama. Craft's husband, billionaire coal-mining magnate Joe Craft, has criticized Obama's climate change policies.
'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
- GOP Senators Advance Trump EPA Nominees Over Dems’ Objection (AP)
- Tesla Installs Solar, Battery Project at Puerto Rico Children’s Hospital (Inside Climate News)
- Donald Trump, Bird Killer (The New Republic)
- Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan (The Nation)
- U.S. Marine Sanctuary Oil Drilling Report Sent To Trump, Not Public (Reuters)
- Trump To Auction Off A Vast Swath Of Gulf Of Mexico To Oil Companies (Washington Post)
- Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems (Vox)
- EPA To Review How Clean Air, Water Laws Affect Fossil Fuel Sector Jobs (Reuters)
- For an Endangered Animal, a Fire or Hurricane Can Mean the End (NY Times)
- 17 popular national parks could see huge fee hike (Chicago Tribune)
- DOE: Perry Targets Agency's NEPA, Efficiency Regs (E&E News)
- Coal-export terminal backer sues state over permit denial (AP)
- Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots (NY Times)
- 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