EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life. 
Mentioned by:
Downed power lines on road PR-743 in Cayey, Puerto Rico as the island awoke to a general power outage on Sept. 19, 2022 after Hurricane Fiona struck. Jose Jimenez / Getty Images

Hurricane Fiona dumped catastrophic flooding on Puerto Rico over the weekend, knocking out the entire island's electrical grid and dropping as much as 30 inches of rain.

Electricity was out across the island by 2pm ET Sunday, even before Fiona made official landfall at about 3:20 pm ET near Punta Tocon. Understanding the scope of the devastation will take days, if not weeks, as rivers ripped bridges from their moorings.

Hurricane Fiona dumped catastrophic flooding on Puerto Rico over the weekend, knocking out the entire island’s electrical grid and dropping as much as 30 inches of rain.

Electricity was out across the island by 2pm ET Sunday, even before Fiona made official landfall at about 3:20 pm ET near Punta Tocon. Understanding the scope of the devastation will take days, if not weeks, as rivers ripped bridges from their moorings.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico just two days before the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the deadliest disaster in the U.S. in the last century, due in part to the previous administration’s racist malfeasance.

This is the second time in less than six months the entire colonial territory has been without electricity. Puerto Rico’s grid reliability has been shaky for years and last Thursday a senior VP of LUMA — the private utility that provides power to Puerto Ricans — could not provide Congress with an estimate of when it would be able to stabilize the grid and provide reliable electricity.

Puerto Rico does not have voting representatives in Congress and does not have electoral votes for president.

The Category 1 storm, which is still dumping rain on Puerto Rico, slammed into the Dominican Republic near Boca de Yuma early this morning and is forecast to dump up to 12 inches of rain on the eastern and northern parts of the country.

For a deeper dive:

The Washington Post, Axios, AP, Yale Climate Connections, NBC Miami, Axios, NPR, CNN, Bloomberg, Axios, USA Today, El Nuevo Dia (es), El Nuevo Dia (es), EFE (es), El Nuevo Dia (es), El Nuevo Dia (es), Bloomberg, NBC, AccuWeather, Gizmodo, Weather Channel, ABC, The Hill; Maria Anniversary: Axios, AP, E&E; LUMA: San Juan Daily Star; Dominican Republic: CNN, AP, Prensa Latina; Photos: The Washington Post; Project path: The Washington Post; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes

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

Read More
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Floating wind turbines off the coast of Viana do Castelo, Portugal on Aug. 24, 2021. Hugo Amaral / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

The Biden administration committed Thursday to build enough floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 to power 5 million homes.

The 15GW by 2035 target is in addition to the administration's goal of installing 30GW of traditional offshore wind by 2030. Floating offshore wind is still an emerging technology, producing 0.2% of global offshore wind power, and the administration's efforts will include supporting research and development across multiple federal agencies to bring down costs, and pilot projects in California and Oregon.

The Biden administration committed Thursday to build enough floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 to power 5 million homes.

The 15GW by 2035 target is in addition to the administration’s goal of installing 30GW of traditional offshore wind by 2030. Floating offshore wind is still an emerging technology, producing 0.2% of global offshore wind power, and the administration’s efforts will include supporting research and development across multiple federal agencies to bring down costs, and pilot projects in California and Oregon.

The Energy Department hopes to reduce the cost-per-MW of floating offshore wind by 70% by 2035. Deep water areas off the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine offer significant wind energy potential that cannot be harnessed by traditional offshore wind turbines secured to the ocean floor.

As reported by The Oregonian:

There are only a handful of floating offshore platforms in the world — all in Europe — but officials said the technology is developing and could soon establish the United States as a global leader in offshore wind.

The push for offshore wind is part of Biden’s effort to promote clean energy and address global warming. Biden has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. A climate-and-tax bill Biden signed last month would spend about $375 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources like hydrogen.

For a deeper dive:

AP, E&E, Reuters, Politico Pro, The Hill, The Verge, KVIA, Oregon Capital Chronicle, CNN, The Oregonian

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

Read More
Private equity firms have continued to invest billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects, with no exit strategy. x-reflexnaja / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Private equity firms are exposing investors, including retired teachers, nurses, and firefighters, to unknown levels of financial risk by continuing to invest billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects, with no exit strategy, a new report concludes.

The analysis, from Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, finds private equity firms — which are largely immune to financial disclosure rules — have poured billions of dollars into fossil energy projects since 2010, despite many publicly claiming to support climate action.

Private equity firms are exposing investors, including retired teachers, nurses, and firefighters, to unknown levels of financial risk by continuing to invest billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects, with no exit strategy, a new report concludes.

The analysis, from Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, finds private equity firms — which are largely immune to financial disclosure rules — have poured billions of dollars into fossil energy projects since 2010, despite many publicly claiming to support climate action.

Carlyle, Warburg Pincus, and KKR were the worst offenders of the eight firms reviewed. Three-quarters of Carlyle’s energy investments are in fossil fuels and KKR has said it will continue to invest in fossil projects.

“Private equity firms have created large climate risks for the investors providing the capital, especially as they act as fiduciaries of public sector workers’ retirement savings. As societal sentiment grows in support of a clean energy economy, the risk of doubling down on dirty energy assets is becoming clear,” Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer, climate research director for PESP, told The Guardian.

As reported by Bloomberg:

“The industry is operating in the shadows,” said Alyssa Giachino, research and campaign director at the nonprofit Private Equity Stakeholder Project. “The remedy is transparency.”

Most private-equity managers aren’t tracked by financial regulators because private markets are exempt from most public disclosures, Giachino said. This lack of transparency deprives the public and investors of a true picture of the damage inflicted by private equity on the planet and human health, she said.

For a deeper dive:

The Guardian, Bloomberg

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

Read More
Spinning icon while loading more posts.