In the aftermath of Irma, some daunting figures: between 6.5 and 15 million Floridians are without power; Florida Power and Light has some 16,000 workers laboring to repair the lines. Worst hit is the Florida Keys, where 25 percent of the homes have been destroyed. Florida Governor Rick Scott said officials are doing everything they can to get power back on. Alex Madrigal is keeping track of all this for the Atlantic.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Candidate Donald Trump said the Environmental Protection Agency was more about politics than science. Administrator Scott Pruitt got the message. He's weakening rules for clean water, methane leaks, chemical explosions and pesticides as EPA scientists are bought out or retire. One environmental group sees a "corporate takeover" of the agency -- created by Richard Nixon to monitor environmental threats to public health. Pruitt says there's been federal overreach. So, how will a weakened EPA handle the dangerous consequences of massive natural disasters?
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (@eilperin)
Judith Enck, Pace University (@enckj)
Jeff Ruch, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (@PEERorg)
Luke Metzger, Environment Texas (@lukemetzger)
Eilperin on EPA requiring political aide's sign-off for agency awards, grant applications
PEER on EPA criminal pollution enforcement withering away
Environment Texas on federal budget cuts hurt clean energy, clean air in Texas
The Trump Justice Department has filed a "friend of the court brief" on behalf of a baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, arguing that he was exercising his right to free speech. It reads, in part, "Just as a painter does more than simply apply paint to a canvas, a baker of a custom wedding cake does more than simply mix together eggs, flour, and sugar: Both apply their artistic talents and viewpoints to the endeavor.” The ACLU calls that an argument for a Constitutional right to discriminate. Jess Bravin, who covers the Supreme Court for the Wall Street Journal, says the case weighs the power of religion, sexual orientation and basic civil rights.
More From To the Point
How to fix the future Silicon Valley has been the driver of tech innovation that has changed the world. But there’s been a backlash. Other countries are showing the way to transparency, enhanced privacy and consumer protection. In the meantime, will Facebook and Google help protect this year’s U.S. elections from Russian hacking?
Does universal health care have a future? Despite controlling the White House and Congress, Republicans have failed to repeal Obamacare. But they are chipping away. Some Democrats advocate universal coverage. So, what’s in store for this year’s midterm elections? Has either side come up with a way to cut costs? To achieve that goal, is it time for doctors to change their focus--away from health care to health itself?
Parkland students take the lead on gun control Young people around the country are all fired up after the Parkland shooting. Veteran observers say they’re changing the atmosphere of debate about gun control. How realistic are their expectations about one of America’s most controversial issues?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Scenes from Los Angeles’ ‘March for Our Lives’ On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people around the country demonstrated to reduce gun violence and strengthen gun control laws. The march, called “March for Our Lives,” was organized in… Read More
Anti-gun violence activist: ‘I’m so, so angry because it just keeps happening and it doesn’t have to’ (Photo: Demonstration organized by Teens For Gun Reform, an organization created by students in the Washington DC area, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School… Read More