How Will Hurricane Harvey Affect Texas Wind Farms?

To date, no wind farm in the United States has been destroyed by a hurricane. Neither Hurricane Iselle (Hawaii, 2014), Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey, 2012), nor Hurricane Irene (Delaware, 2011) harmed wind farms. Wind farms in hurricane-prone coastal zones are frequently designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, up to level Category 3 hurricanes. For self preservation purposes, wind turbines automatically shut down when wind speeds reach excessive levels. Hurricane Harvey is slated to become a Category 3 storm, and may test the limits of turbine engineering.

#Katrina10: Climate Change and a Renewed Call for Justice

At the Climate Justice Convergence at Dillard University on the occasion of 10 years passing since Hurricane Katrina, a who’s who of environmental justice “marathoners” addressed a new generation of environmental justice leaders. This powerful event was part of the #GulfSouthRising commemorative events I was fortunate to attend. In a compelling presentation, Dr. Robert Bullard, [...]

Building Community Resiliency for Hurricane Season

This Saturday marks the beginning of hurricane season, the six month period between June 1 and November 30 that typically ushers in the bulk of Atlantic hurricanes.  The season’s opening day is a good opportunity to reflect on the significance of hurricanes, climate change, and what our role is in it all. With freak storms [...]

Hurricane Season Draws to Close, Sandy Begs for Action

November 30–the day that many of us in the coastal Southeast can breathe a sigh of relief that hurricane season finally “officially” ends.  Many of us can give thanks that we came through yet another hurricane season without too much damage, while others of us may still be recovering from impacts from one of the [...]

Hurricanes and Offshore Drilling

The interplay of hurricanes and offshore drilling is one of complexity as we look toward a clean energy future. On one hand, the historical record tells us that hurricanes and offshore drilling don’t play well together. Hurricanes have caused major damage to offshore platforms and drilling-related infrastructure and have caused large oil spills. Yet on the other hand, as the only major offshore energy industry in the country, it is in a unique position to inform the conversation on offshore renewable energy. Coming from the perspective of a clean energy advocate, the important lessons to take away from examining the relationship between offshore drilling and hurricanes are that while offshore drilling’s risk is unacceptably high and poses a large economic and environmental threat, we can leverage the industry’s technological progress and apply it to a cleaner and safer alternative with offshore wind.

Rebirth or Retreat: Are We Better Prepared Four Years After Katrina?

Four years and four months ago today Hurricane Katrina (soon followed by Hurricane Rita) ravaged the Gulf Coast claiming thousands of lives and leaving over 800,000 displaced.  Four years is a long time to reflect on the tragedies that unfolded (the mismanagement of the evacuation, the failure of the levees and the delay of aid [...]