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 national affairs correspondent (@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
Scott Pruitt and James Comey: In and out of the Trump Administration EPA Director Scott Pruitt is undergoing an ethics investigation, but his Obama-Era predecessor, Gina McCarthy, says the real scandal is that he “doesn’t know what he’s doing.” We’ll also tackle the backlash against fired FBI Director James Comey. Can his credibility survive angry public exchanges with President Trump?
The internet, privacy and data protection Mark Zuckerberg survived this week’s Congressional grilling. But Facebook still profits on free information: yours and mine. Three experts on big data explain how it works and lay out the risks as well as the benefits. Also, a veteran of Washington’s war games says President Trump is right to want U.S. troops out of Syria
Nuclear weapons in the 21st Century President Trump and Kim Jong Un have revived fears about weapons of mass destruction. But “tactical” nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield are still around, too. Is President Trump--like Barack Obama before him--relaying on a World War II technology ill-adapted to modern threats like cyber warfare? Would the use of low-level nukes inevitably escalate into an all-out atomic warfare? Also, Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright on his new TV miniseries “The Looming Tower” about the FBI, the CIA and September 11th.
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