83 percent of Puerto Ricans remain without power three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. The goal is for 25 percent of customers to regain power by the end of October, but it could be months before the territory’s grid is fully operational again. Meanwhile, 36 percent of the island still does not have water service. Since energy is required to treat and deliver water, presumably the lack of power is standing in the way of getting some of those water systems back online. (Water, of course, is also needed to generate energy, but that’s a topic for another time.)
The US Senate just passed a budget resolution that brings oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic refuge a little closer to reality
The U.S. Senate took a step Thursday toward opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, approving a budget resolution that includes leasing in the site as a measure to raise federal revenue.
The resolution, a preliminary step toward potential approval of President Trump's proposed tax legislation, allows senators to avoid the need for 60 votes and the threat of a filibuster when the measure is considered in the future.
Fall storms now regularly batter Alaska’s Arctic coastal villages — but don’t always qualify for disaster funds
A fall storm that sent waves crashing ashore in the northernmost U.S. community and caused at least $10 million in damage to roads, buildings and other facilities is part of a troublesome pattern in a new type of fall season along the coasts of northern and western Alaska. But current federal rules often mean such damage can't be covered by disaster funds.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska’s top lawyer has released a legal opinion on the status of tribal sovereignty in the state.
State Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth addresses the opinion to Gov. Bill Walker, stating that tribes do exist in Alaska and their governments have inherent sovereignty.
The 16-page opinion outlines him tribal issues clarified over the years by the courts. It does not take positions on areas courts have not addressed.
For example, Lindemuth notes that tribes are legal entities separate from other governments. The state, however, initially held that legally, tribes did not exist. The federal government formally recognized Alaska tribes in 1994, a determination that was initially challenged by the state.
Currently, there are 229 federally recognized tribes in Alaska. There is just one reservation, the southeast Alaska community of Metlakatla.
President Donald Trump announced Monday that he would nominate Tara Sweeney, an executive vice president of Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and the former chair of the Arctic Economic Council to serve as Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs in the Interior Department.
Polling & Social Science
Strategic Approach: Audiences, Engagement
The Trump administration has put a strain on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The organization, Save EPA, works with congress and the public to ensure new standards are in place to counter attempts to roll back federal protections.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK:
The tools and talking points discussed support individuals and groups that want to speak out in defense against regulatory rollback.
Participate in rulemakings to roll back or delay protections:
- Comment on the proposed rule change
- Testify at public hearings if there are any close to you
- Request meetings or phone calls with agency staff, managers and/or White House officials
Engage outside of the rulemaking process:
- Enlist your members of congress
- Use social and mainstream media campaigns
- Participate in mass letter-writing campaigns
- Stage or participate in demonstrations or other group actions
Join in the public conversation about regulations and the protections they provide
- If you hear something that is untrue, write back or say something
- Remain clear and civil in your communication
- Provide good information and fair analysis, not alternative facts
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community started planning for climate change a decade ago. Located on the southeastern peninsula of Fidalgo Island on Puget Sound in Washington, the reservation is surrounded by water and at high risk for sea-level rise. A destructive 100-year storm event in 2006 led tribal leaders to research and fund climate programs, and the Swinomish became the first tribal nation to adopt a climate adaptation plan. So, when President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement, the Swinomish reacted swiftly and, together with other tribes, publicly committed to uphold the accord.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation denied a climate change petition on Thursday submitted by a group of teens. The petition asked the state to reduce carbon emissions, monitor greenhouse gasses and come up with a long term climate change strategy.