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The sea is constantly dumping dozens of bodies

Horror in Libya. Also: unlocking the promise of the IRA direct-pay program

This afternoon at 3 PM, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center is hosting a webinar with Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Princess Moss, Katie Thomas, Greg Ackerman, Jillian Blanchard, and Taylor Cranor on the new federal direct-pay sustainable energy funding for local governments and non-profit organizations authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act.


The streets of Derna. Credit: Esam Omran Al-Fetori

The fossil-fueled Mediterranean storm dubbed Daniel1 has wreaked a terrible toll in war-torn Libya, where two aging dams failed under the storm’s torrential onslaught, devastating the port city of Derna with a biblical flood. “I am not exaggerating when I say that 25% of the city has disappeared,” government official Hichem Abu Chkiouat told reporters. “It’s like a tsunami.”

The “sea is constantly dumping dozens of bodies,” Chkiouat said. Islamic Relief UK official Salah Aboulgasem warned the death toll, currently estimated at 5,300, could rise to 20,000 souls. “People are saying in Arabic it’s like doomsday. That’s the best way to describe it.”

Other major dams upstream of Benghazi are also at risk of failing.

In addition to direct monetary support to relief organizations, people can press their elected officials to provide significant, immediate international support.

A post shared by@mark.smith.photography 

This morning, Senate environment chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) chaired a hearing examining the effects of extreme heat and weather on transportation. Phoenix heat officer Dr. David Hondula, LiUNA’s Travis Parsons, and transportation safety consultant Aimee Flannery were the invited witnesses.

House Energy and Commerce subcommittee chair Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) is holding a legislative hearing on electric grid reliability and federal energy efficiency standards, with the bizarre premise that energy efficiency and renewable energy are greater threats to the grid than extreme heat and weather. Republicans are proposing legislation to severely restrict energy efficiency standards on distribution transformers (H.R. 4167) and on appliances (not yet introduced), as well as the GRID Act, a bill which would let states gum up EPA or DOE climate pollution rules for electric utilities by compelling Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involvement. Federal officials Gene Rodrigues of the Department of Energy and David Ortiz of FERC will testify. Energy efficiency advocate Andrew deLaski of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project is testifying on the second panel with Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) climate denier Ben Lieberman and several corporate lobbyists.

Meanwhile, EPA Inspector General Sean O’Donnell testified before another House Energy and Commerce subcommittee about the agency’s $5 billion Clean School Bus program, part of the $60 billion awarded to the agency by the bipartisan infrastructure law.

And the House Natural Resources mining subcommittee investigated the U.S. Geological Survey’s Critical Minerals List. Under the Biden administration, the list prioritizes minerals used in renewable energy and battery production, but does not include uranium. USGS official Nedal Nassar, mining industry lobbyists and advocates, and environmental scientist Dustin Mulvaney testified.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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1 Thanks to the Anthropocene, there are now frequent tropical-like cyclonic storms in the Mediterranean Sea, leading to the neologism “medicane” and the informal practice of giving them first names, like the hurricanes and typhoons of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

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