Hurricane Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana, as a Category 2 storm. Climate change-fueled storms like Delta can compound the climate crisis when they barrel towards oil, gas, and petrochemical refineries.
The following is a statement from Emma Cheuse, Staff Attorney, Healthy Communities, at Earthjustice:
“Just weeks after Hurricane Laura tore through the Gulf Coast, the region is reeling from the aftermath of another storm. Our thoughts today are with RISE St. James, Concerned Citizens of St. John, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Mossville Environmental Action Now, t.e.j.a.s., Community In-Power & Development Association, Air Alliance Houston, and all our partners and staff and their families in the region and the communities most impacted by yet another climate-fueled disaster.
“Hurricane Delta’s impact is compounded by the three concurrent crises our country currently faces: the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the decades-long environmental and structural racism on which our nation was built. As a result, communities of color and low income communities continue to disproportionately pay the price for our nation’s inaction.
“To make matters worse, the storm is expected to hit the nation’s largest petrochemical and oil refinery hub in the country, compounding the risk of a double disaster — toxic chemical spills into our air, our soil, our water, and feeding all three crises at once — as occurred during and after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston.
“We must not accept this reality — we have to call on federal and state government officials to fulfill their duty to protect communities in Louisiana, the Gulf, and beyond. We need to put into action bold and comprehensive solutions to address the climate crisis and safeguard communities from the toxic pollution and other local health and environmental impacts fossil fuel polluters cause. It’s time to finally stop the dangerous cycle of climate-driven chemical disasters as storms like Laura and Delta hit the Gulf every year, but are rapidly increasing in strength.
“In the short-term, state and federal officials must provide the resources needed to help people recover from Hurricane Delta, and take swift policy action to prevent another fossil fuel or chemical disaster. And to truly end these crises, we must rebuild our economy in an equitable way that dismantles the nation’s long history of environmental racism.”