Trump Called ‘An International Disgrace’ After Claiming ‘3,000 People Did Not Die’ in Puerto Rico
By Elizabeth Preza
In a stunning tweet on Thursday, Donald Trump refuted reports that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria in 2017.
"[Three thousand] people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," Trump wrote. "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…"
"....This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico," Trump claimed. "If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!"
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit… https://t.co/6gATFkCMeH— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536842247.0
.....This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Bil… https://t.co/sd4kS7qtcY— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536842952.0
In October 2017, Trump touted the low death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, which at the time consisted of only 16 certified deaths. In August 2018, following a study from George Washington University, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló revised the official death toll to 2,975.
The internet on Thursday slammed Trump for caring more about his ego than the facts.
A Hurricane Denier. https://t.co/zTa5qr1IN3— Dana Milbank (@Dana Milbank)1536842470.0
Trump is now disputing the death figures in Puerto Rico...by the thousands. This man has to get out of office ASAP.— deray (@deray)1536842826.0
The president is going to do the Monty Python parrot sketch with Puerto Rico. This isn’t likely to end well. https://t.co/br8HEzXl4z— Dave Levinthal (@Dave Levinthal)1536842410.0
Is there a word for the 10 minutes after the jaw-dropping tweet that has an ellipsis at the end of it, while you're… https://t.co/k9MnJvff99— Steven Shepard (@Steven Shepard)1536842538.0
Somewhere, White House aides are screaming into pillows https://t.co/5EmocBdnoO— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1536842344.0
Also: He appears to be floating a conspiracy that the death toll is being artificially inflated https://t.co/qHX27XWfvm— Chris Cillizza (@Chris Cillizza)1536842335.0
This should be a comfort to the people who lost family members. Now they know they can blame Thanos or the rapture… https://t.co/gwL2W79TBU— A Jason Tabrys (@A Jason Tabrys)1536842707.0
“Truth isn’t truth,” Puerto Rico hurricane edition https://t.co/JbIHKIqu9E— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@Edward-Isaac Dovere)1536842310.0
wow https://t.co/5MhVpcokon— Jordan Fabian (@Jordan Fabian)1536842420.0
President takes issue with Puerto Rico death count https://t.co/jUItdFgMoc— Philip Rucker (@Philip Rucker)1536842461.0
#TheBuckStopsThere => https://t.co/2F5wxidZpT— David M. Drucker (@David M. Drucker)1536842377.0
@realDonaldTrump It's too early for this shit, Donnie.— Alisha Grauso (@Alisha Grauso)1536842677.0
This is an extraordinary tweet and accusation https://t.co/ELqlfiGDMa— Jonathan Lemire (@Jonathan Lemire)1536843120.0
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By Simon Montlake
For more than a decade, Susan Jane Brown has been battling to stop a natural gas pipeline and export terminal from being built in the backcountry of Oregon. As an attorney at the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center, she has repeatedly argued that the project's environmental, social, and health costs are too high.
All that was before this month's deadly wildfires in Oregon shrouded the skies above her home office in Portland. "It puts a fine point on it. These fossil fuel projects are contributing to global climate change," she says.
Moderates Feeling the Heat<p>If elected, Mr. Biden has vowed to stop new drilling for oil and gas on federal land and in federal waters and to rejoin the 2015 Paris climate accord that President Donald Trump gave notice of quitting. He would reinstate Obama-era regulations of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, the largest component of natural gas.</p><p>The Biden climate platform also states that all federal infrastructure investments and federal permits would need to be assessed for their climate impacts. Analysts say such a test could impede future LNG plants and pipelines, though not those that already have federal approval. </p><p>Climate change activists who pushed for that language say much depends on who would have oversight of federal agencies that regulate the industry. Some are wary of Biden's reliance on advice from Obama-era officials, including former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who is now on the board of Southern Company, a utility, and a former Obama environmental aide, Heather Zichal, who has served on the board of Cheniere Energy, an LNG exporter. </p>
The Push for U.S. Fuel Exports<p>As vice president, Biden was part of an administration that pushed hard for global climate action while also promoting U.S. oil and gas exports to its allies and trading partners. As fracking boomed, Obama ended a 40-year ban on crude oil exports. In Europe, LNG was touted both as an alternative to coal and as strategic competition with Russian pipelines.</p><p>That much, at least, continued with President Trump. Under Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the agency referred to liquified U.S. hydrocarbons as "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/us/freedom-gas-energy-department.html" target="_blank">freedom gas</a>."</p><p>Mr. Trump has also championed the interests of coal, oil, and gas while denigrating the findings of government climate scientists. He rejected the Paris accord as unfair to the U.S. and detrimental to its economy, but has offered no alternative path to emissions cuts. </p><p>Still, Trump's foreign policy has not always served the LNG industry: Tariffs on foreign steel drove up pipeline costs, and a trade war with China stayed the hand of Chinese LNG importers wary of reliance on U.S. suppliers. </p><p>Even his regulatory rollbacks could be a double-edged sword. By relaxing curbs last month on methane leaks, the U.S. has ceded ground to European regulators who are drafting emissions standards that LNG producers are watching closely. "That's a precursor of fights that will be fought in all the rest of the developed world," says Mr. Hutchison. </p><p>Indeed, some oil-and-gas exporters had urged the Trump administration not to abandon the tougher rules, since they undercut their claim to offer a cleaner-burning way of producing heat and electricity. "U.S. LNG is not going to be able to compete in a world that's focused on methane emissions and intensity," says Erin Blanton, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. </p>
Stepping on the Gas<p>In July, the Department of Energy issued an export license to Jordan Cove's developer, Canada's Pembina Pipeline Corp. In a statement, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said the project would provide "reliable, affordable, and cleaner-burning natural gas to our allies around the world."</p><p>As a West Coast terminal, Jordan Cove offers a faster route to Asia where its capacity of 7.8 million tons of LNG a year could serve to heat more than 15 million homes. At its peak, its construction would also create 6,000 jobs, the company says, in a stagnant corner of Oregon.</p><p>But the project still lacks multiple local and state permits, and its biggest asset – a Pacific port – has become its biggest handicap, says Ms. Blanton. "They are putting infrastructure in a state where there's no political support for the pipeline or the terminal, unlike in Louisiana or Texas," she says. </p><p>Ms. Brown, the environmental lawyer, says she wants to see Jordan Cove buried, not just mothballed until natural gas prices recover. But she knows that it's only one among many LNG projects and that others will likely get built, even if Biden is elected in November, despite growing evidence of the harm caused by methane emissions. </p>
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