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

Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.

Read More Show Less
Valerie / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A coalition of some of the largest environmental groups in the country joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Trump administration's maneuver to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less