"More than 65 million people are displaced from their homes, the largest number since the Second World War, and nearly 25 million of them are refugees and asylum seekers living outside their own country. But that number doesn’t include people displaced by climate change."
"Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled on Monday an $81 billion aid package to deal with hurricanes and wildfires, far above President Donald Trump’s $44 billion request."
"Extreme weather left its mark across the planet in 2016, the hottest year in recorded history. Record heat baked Asia and the Arctic. Droughts gripped Brazil and southern Africa. The Great Barrier Reef suffered its worst bleaching event in memory, killing large swaths of coral. Now climate scientists are starting to tease out which of last year’s calamities can, and can’t, be linked to global warming."
"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."