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Why This Matters: There are many facilities providing vital services to veterans that have been already or will be detrimentally impacted by climate change. Veterans already experience inexcusably long wait times for services and health care in some regions of the country — those should not be longer on account of climate change impacts that should have been anticipated by the agency.
VA Must Factor Climate Change Into Risk Assessments
According to the Senators’ letter, natural disasters and extreme weather events have adversely affected VA infrastructure and operations at facilities across the country in recent years, including in Louisiana, Texas, New York, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico. As the Senators explained in their letter, “VA, like all federal agencies, has finite resources and must balance competing budget priorities. However, those priorities must include adapting VA infrastructure and operations to climate risks.” The VA had significant supply and staffing issues after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017. Similarly, after Hurricane Florence struck the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina in 2018, numerous VA medical sites were closed for days after the powerful storm dumped up to 30 inches of rain on some sections of the state, and some 200 patients had to be evacuated to other facilities and more than 5,000 patient appointments were canceled because of the hurricane and its aftermath.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Last Thursday, Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) introduced the Orphaned Wells Cleanup and Jobs Act of 2021 which would authorize nearly $8 billion in grant funding for abandoned oil and gas well cleanup projects across the nation. Methane emissions from abandoned wells threaten to derail President Biden’s climate goals, but dozens of […]
By Josh Freed, Senior Vice President for the Climate and Energy Program, Third Way For years, climate news has offered one of the best doomscrolling fixes, up there with the pandemic and Donald Trump’s assault on democracy. But we’ve finally entered an era when the good news on climate is starting to outweigh the […]
Special Presidential Envoy on Climate (or “SPEC”) Kerry is engaging with key nations this week in the run-up to the Global Summit in two weeks. In India yesterday he met with Prime Minister Narenda Modi, who reaffirmed his government’s commitment to its Paris pledges, including increasing its non-fossil fuel power capacity to 40% and substantially boosting forest cover to reduce CO2. Kerry visits Bangladesh today.
Why This Matters: Kerry is using these visits to try to elicit elevated commitments from other major emitters — China and India.
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