Quantcast

Puerto Rico's Power Grid 'Virtually Gone' After Hurricane Maria

Popular
Hurricane Maria bought down power lines like these in San Juan and left millions without electricity. EPA

Puerto Rico's power grid is "virtually gone," Acting Department of Homeland Secretary Elaine Duke told a Senate committee Wednesday, confirming that the massive humanitarian crisis on the island could endure for months.

"Our focus is not necessarily restoring energy," Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN on Wednesday. "The energy grid has been destroyed .... And we need to rebuild it. That does not get rebuilt in days."


The future of the island's bankrupt and corrupt utility and its fossil-fuel-heavy colonial legacy are now top of mind as experts and officials begin to tackle the best way to restore power and rebuild the island's power grid. Most of the island is without power and 44 percent of the population lack drinking water over a week after Maria hit, and a haphazard distribution of emergency supplies and assistance is slowing recovery efforts and contributing to the devastation.

As reported by USA Today:

"Although the Senate hearing was called to assess the state of homeland security threats, much of the session focused on the dire conditions in Puerto Rico.

At one point, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., read aloud a dramatic appeal from former Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia, who said that local hospitals 'are on the verge of collapse.'

Some in need of medical care are 'dying in their homes because they can't fill prescriptions' or access out-patient care, including dialysis. 'This is happening in America,' Hassan said, reading from Garcia's plea."

For a deeper dive:

Grid: USA Today, CNN, Wired, Bloomberg BNA, CityLab, Mother Jones. Utility legacy: Huffington Post, Washington Post. Commentary: Slate, Eleanor Cummins analysis

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

BLM drill seeders work to restore native grasses after wildfire on the Bowden Hills Wilderness Study Area in southeast Oregon, Dec. 14, 2018. Marcus Johnson / BLM / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

In 2017 the Thomas fire raged through 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, California, leaving in its wake a blackened expanse of land, burned vegetation, and more than 1,000 destroyed buildings.

Read More Show Less
Brogues Cozens-Mcneelance / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD

Fruit juice is generally perceived as healthy and far superior to sugary soda.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Danielle Nierenberg and Katherine Walla

As the holiday season ramps up for many across the world, Food Tank is highlighting 15 children's books that will introduce young eaters, growers and innovators to the world of food and agriculture. Authors and organizations are working to show children the importance — and fun — of eating healthy, nutritious and delicious food, growing their own produce, and giving food to others in need.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Purple cabbage, also referred to as red cabbage, belongs to the Brassica genus of plants. This group includes nutrient-dense vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Lauren Wolahan

For the first time ever, the UN is building out a roadmap for curbing carbon pollution from agriculture. To take part in that process, a coalition of U.S. farmers traveled to the UN climate conference in Madrid, Spain this month to make the case for the role that large-scale farming operations, long criticized for their outsized emissions, can play in addressing climate change.

Read More Show Less