Flooding in Washington, D.C. on Monday prompted calls for climate action as well as renewed scorn for the Trump administration's abysmal environmental record.
The heavy rains came the morning President Donald Trump gave an afternoon speech in which he boasted of supposed environmental accomplishments. "Is this a joke?" said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "It's like an arsonist talking about how valuable his work is to the fire department."
The National Weather Service has a flood warning in place for the District of Columbia until 6pm, and earlier in the day some spots in the metro area saw over three inches of rain fall in an hour. Flash flooding in the area triggered commuter train stoppages, flight delays, washed-out roads, flooding at Metro stations, and even pools of water in the White House basement.
This is fine. pic.twitter.com/tLw5nJai49— Brian Radzinsky (@b_radzinsky) July 8, 2019
It only took one hour for Washington, DC to gain Top-10 daily July rainfall status: 3.30" fell, leading to widespread flash flooding across the metro. This video on 17th St. NW next to Ellipse Park sums it up!— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) July 8, 2019
( IG/hyunjaesuh) pic.twitter.com/DI48QNl6BN
It’s official: The White House basement is flooding. pic.twitter.com/f1DR6awE89— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) July 8, 2019
"This is not the 'usual' flooding," the National Weather Service said in a tweet.
The deluge drew the attention of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who urged swift action to address the climate crisis. She said in a tweet, "Each day of inaction puts more of us in danger."
Unprecedented flooding is quickly becoming a new normal.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 8, 2019
Despite that, Republicans are tripling down on fossil fuels w/no plan to transition off them, or make the critical infra investments we need to prep for the climate crisis.
Each day of inaction puts more of us in danger. https://t.co/J8yqzguN5O
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also noted the flooding and other recent extreme weather, and the coinciding of the downpour with Trump's speech. "We don't have time for more lies," he tweeted. "We must address the climate crisis now."
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DC is flooded. It was 90 degrees in Alaska last week. Sea ice has shrunk to record lows in Antarctica. June was the hottest month ever recorded.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 8, 2019
And today Trump is "touting" his environmental record.
We don't have time for more lies. We must address the climate crisis now. https://t.co/pqx8nOiocM
Ahead of Trump's address, green groups on Monday panned the expected content of the White House speech as "utter fantasy" and an "attempt to greenhouse gaslight the public" on the president's "record of dirtier air and dirtier water."
The Sierra Club fired of a Twitter thread documenting the administration's attacks on clean air and water:
Under Trump U.S. air quality dropped “after years of improvement,” with more polluted air days each year in Trump’s first two years in office than in the previous four years, according to Associated Press analysis. #FactsTrumpDenial https://t.co/Y3gbL8RoVe— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 8, 2019
Trump weakened policies to protect vulnerable Americans from deadly smog pollution that contributes to dirtier air and leads to asthma attacks and heart attacks. #FactsTrumpDenial https://t.co/huyHJTu20e— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 8, 2019
Trump attacked the Clean Water Rule, sacrificing drinking water sources for one-third of Americans to the pollution from the fossil fuel industry and other sources. #FactsTrumpDenial— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 8, 2019
Trump attempted to approve the widely-opposed Keystone XL -- which still faces significant legal obstacles -- and Dakota Access fossil fuel pipelines, threatening water sources across the country. #FactsTrumpDenial— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 8, 2019
Trump is the only president ever to shrink the amount of federally protected public lands when he sought to rescind protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments #FactsTrumpDenial /END— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 8, 2019
"Trump's environmental policy is a fun-house version of what is actually required for leadership," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "This administration has never met an environmental protection it wasn’t eager to overturn. The corporations profiting off of fossil fuels, chemicals, pesticides and factory farms, on the other hand, have a firm friend in the administration."
"As the world continues to ring the alarm bell," said Hauter, "the Trump administration cheers on polluters. This is not what American leadership looks like."
"True leadership," she continued, "would be phasing out fossil fuels for 100 percent clean, renewable energy and holding industry accountable for its pollution that endangers our air, water, and food.”