Puerto Rico

Coal-burning utility boosts lobbying, may get eased regulations
New rules proposed by Trump administration would eliminate some Obama-era environmental protections for coal ash

A coal ash pile in Guayama, Puerto Rico. The pile’s owner, Arlington-based AES Corp., has asked the Trump administration to relax regulations for the disposal of toxic residues from burning coal.  (Courtesy Mabette Colon)

On Oct. 2, 19-year-old Mabette Colon traveled from her hometown in Puerto Rico to Arlington, Virginia, to try to persuade the EPA to abandon its efforts to ease regulations for the disposal of toxic residues from burning coal.

Colon said she grew up less than a mile from what activists describe as a nine-story-tall pile of coal ash owned by Arlington-based AES Corp. in the town of Guayama. She worries that under the Trump administration revisions proposed Monday, which have not yet been publicly released, the company could pollute with impunity and further expose her community to the toxic pollutants that have sickened her neighbors.

Capitol Ink | Federal Disaster Relief Bill

Road ahead: Both chambers tackle disaster relief but conclusion still iffy
House goes after administration’s ‘junk’ plan rule, Senate nomination votes could result in Export-Import Bank quorum

From left, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., House Appropriations ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. The top four appropriators are key to reaching a bipartisan deal on disaster relief. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate appropriators hope to wrap up negotiations this week on a bipartisan disaster relief package that can get President Donald Trump’s support, while House Democrats plan to forge ahead with a vote on their own preferred proposal.

The House bill would provide $17.2 billion in aid to areas affected by recent natural disasters. The measure is similar to one the chamber passed in January, but it includes an additional $3 billion to address subsequent floods in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South.

Menendez, Gillibrand Call for Puerto Rico “Marshall Plan” on Hurricane Anniversary
 

Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez and Kirsten Gillibrand called for Congress to act to provide further assistance to Puerto Rico, criticizing President Donald Trump’s response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma one year after the disasters. 

Pelosi, Dems Slam Trump Over Hurricane Response
A year after Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still need help, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the Trump administration has a moral obligation to do better than it has in its response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had long been planning to convene a press conference Friday to talk about the ongoing recovery needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands a year after two hurricanes hit the American territories. She didn’t know President Donald Trump would fire off tweets Thursday accusing Democrats of inflating the hurricane’s death toll.

But the president choosing to “add salt to the wounds,” as Pelosi described it, only underscored her message that the federal response to Hurricane Maria has been woefully inadequate.  

Irony Alert: Trump Shares PSA Warning Against Spreading ‘False Information’
President attacks John Kerry Thursday night, starts Friday with string of hurricane warnings

President Trump is briefed earlier this week in the Oval Office as Hurricane Florence was poised to hammer the Carolinas. (White House photo via Flickr)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump, just one day after even Republicans criticized him for claiming nearly 3,000 people did not die last year in Puerto Rico due to two powerful hurricanes, shared a FEMA tweet warning against spreading false information.

Trump ended Thursday evening — as Hurricane Florence began bearing down on the North Carolina coast — by slamming former Secretary of State John Kerry, the longtime senator and failed 2004 Democratic presidential nominee who might be eyeing a 2020 run. He started Friday — with Florence dumping rainfall measured in feet as it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina — with a series of tweets urging people in the storm’s path to take steps to remain safe.

Capitol Ink | First Responder

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Capitol Ink | Cabinet Cleanup

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Capitol Ink | MAGA Puerto Rico

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