December 29, 2017 Read More →

Four Major Environmental Debates of 2017

The Hill:

  1. Natural Disasters

    A series of natural disasters hit the U.S. this year, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. These storms ravaged and flooded Texas, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while also leaving areas of Puerto Rico without power for months.

Ahead of the storm, former FEMA director Michael Brown cautioned a powerful storm during an August recess could be a recipe for disaster. Brown advised Trump, “don’t let Hurricane Harvey be your Katrina.”

Shaye Wolf, Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute climate science director, criticized the Trump administration for rolling back coastal flood protections just before Harvey hit.

“With hurricane season looming, Trump rescinded a life-saving Obama-era rule that required federally funded infrastructure like schools, housing, and highways to be better able to withstand flood damage,” Wolf wrote.

Two months after Maria hit Puerto Rico, Inter American University of Puerto Rico law professor Andrés L. Córdova reminded those on the mainland much of the island was still without power. Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, laid much of the blame at the governor’s feet, arguing Gov. Ricardo Rossello “betrayed Puerto Ricans, clenching to power over broken energy grid.”

Four major environmental debates of 2017

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