Hurricane Harvey

Expert Voices

Energy system ill-prepared for impact of accelerated global warming

Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews work to restore power near fire-damaged Cardinal Newman High School on October 14, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews work to restore power near fire-damaged Cardinal Newman High School on October 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: David McNew via Getty Images

The intensity of the wildfires raging in California is just the latest example of climate change's deadly manifestations. Northern California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is under renewed scrutiny as a possible culprit in the Camp fire, which has devastated towns north of Sacramento, raising serious questions about the fitness of the utility's equipment and its compliance with state safety laws.

The big picture: PG&E is not alone in being unprepared for the harmful effects of a warming planet. Around the globe, many energy and fuel producers have been caught off guard this year by severe storms, anomalous temperatures and rapid changes to available water supplies.

"Great job": Trump doubles down on Hurricane Maria response

As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, President Trump again touted his administration's "unappreciated great job" in Puerto Rico responding to last year's Hurricane Maria — a storm that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people — in a Wednesday morning tweet.

"We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!"

Go deeper: Lawmakers push back against Trump's Maria comments.

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