Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

House Passes $36.5 Billion Relief Package After Hurricane and Wildfire Disasters

Climate
House Passes $36.5 Billion Relief Package After Hurricane and Wildfire Disasters
Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. EPA

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion package for hurricane and wildfire relief funding, which included emergency food assistance for low-income Puerto Rico residents.

This aid comes on top of the $15.3 billion relief measure approved by Congress in September following Hurricane Harvey. The bill advances to the Senate, which will resume session next week, before heading to the desk of President Trump, who early Thursday suggested he may withdraw federal relief workers from Puerto Rico.


As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

"More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria raked the island, some 85% of the people remain without power, with nearly half of its 3.4 million residents lacking running water.

Food and basic supplies remain scarce in the mountainous interior, waterborne diseases pose a growing threat, and many hospitals are in dire circumstances. Deaths attributed to the storm stand at 45, but the number is expected to rise.

The Environmental Protection Agency this week advised against "tampering with sealed or locked wells or drinking from these wells" after reports of Puerto Rico residents trying to get water from wells at "Superfund" hazardous-waste sites.

In a series of tweets early Thursday, Trump implied that Puerto Rico was to blame for its problems, and suggested he would not endorse the type of years-long, multibillion-dollar federal recovery effort that typically follows a storm of such magnitude, or another large-scale disaster, striking a U.S. locale."

For a deeper dive:

Disaster Package: New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, LA Times, PBS Newshour, Houston Chronicle, CNN, Politico. Trump: Washington Post, New York Times, NBC News, CNN, USA Today. Commentary: Washington Post, Jessica Trisko Darden op-ed, New York Times, Paul Krugman column, Washington Post, Jennifer Sciubba & Jeremy Youde op-ed

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

Colette Pichon Battle, attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. Colette Pichon Battle

By Karen L. Smith-Janssen

Colette Pichon Battle gave a December 2019 TEDWomen Talk on the stark realities of climate change displacement, and people took notice. The video racked up a million views in about two weeks. The attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) advocates for climate justice in communities of color. Confronted with evidence showing how her own South Louisiana coastal home of Bayou Liberty will be lost to flooding in coming years, the 2019 Obama Fellow dedicates herself to helping others still reeling from the impacts of Katrina face the heavy toll that climate change has taken—and will take—on their lives and homelands. Her work focuses on strengthening multiracial coalitions, advocating for federal, state, and local disaster mitigation measures, and redirecting resources toward Black communities across the Gulf South.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A palm tree plantation in Malaysia. Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images Plus

Between 2000 and 2013, Earth lost an area of undisturbed ecosystems roughly the size of Mexico.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A home burns during the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, California on September 18, 2020. Kyle Grillot / AFP/ Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

"These are not just wildfires, they are climate fires," Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said as he stood amid the charred remains of the town of Malden west of Seattle earlier this month. "This is not an act of God," he added. "This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways."

Read More Show Less
A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world. PickPik

A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world, The Guardian reported. The study examined 25 years of carbon dioxide emissions and wealth inequality from 1990 to 2015.

Read More Show Less
The label of one of the recalled thyroid medications. FDA

If you are taking medication for an underactive thyroid, check your prescription.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch