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