"Puerto Rico is still drowning from Hurricane Maria but it’s already facing its next crisis — a U.S. tax reform bill that island officials fear will devastate the economy."
Almost a dozen investigations are underway at the U.S. EPA and the Interior Department, including of unusual travel, private sector connections and staff/advisory panel moves. This week's TipSheet runs down the probes in detail, and offers resources for coverage of developments in 2018.
"The National Flood Insurance Program, designed to protect Americans from catastrophic floods, has failed in almost every way, encouraging people to buy and build in flood-prone areas while increasing the cost and magnitude of disasters."
"It took 16 years and more than 1,000 deaths for the Consumer Products Safety Commission to crack down on deadly portable generators. Trump’s appointees could undo that in a matter of months."
"The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is seeking a 30-day extension in the agency’s timeline to consider a proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants."
"Gusty Santa Ana winds and bone-dry conditions continued to stoke major wildfires in Southern California on Thursday as Ventura County fire officials said the battle there could last well over a week."
"The Trump administration is rolling back a requirement for trains carrying highly explosive liquids — like the oil trains that run through the Columbia River Gorge en route to Northwest refineries."
"The Trump administration has terminated a cross-agency group created to help local officials protect their residents against extreme weather and natural disasters."
"A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires burned out of control in Southern California on Tuesday, destroying at least 180 structures, forcing thousands to flee and smothering the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days."
"Leslie Martinez heard the floodwaters before she saw them. ... After all, Ms. Martinez recalled, the home builder had assured her that 'flooding was not even a possibility' when she and her husband purchased the house in this suburban enclave north of Houston in 2011. They would never have bought here otherwise. Flood insurance, of course, was neither required nor needed."