Rachel Cleetus

Lead economist and climate policy manager

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Rachel Cleetus is an expert on the design and economic evaluation of climate and energy policies, as well as the costs of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in economics. See Rachel's full bio.

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Damage from Hurricane Sandy in Mantoloking, New Jersey in 2012.

An Innovative Way to Encourage Disaster Preparedness: FEMA’s Public Assistance Deductible

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently outlined a new framework for encouraging states to invest in disaster resilience and thus limit the growing costs of disasters.

Today is the comment deadline for the ‘Public Assistance deductible,’ a concept that can help protect communities and ensure federal taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. The Union of Concerned Scientists is filing comments supportive of this idea, with some important recommendations for improvements. Read more >

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Here’s What the EPA Budget Cuts in a Leaked Memo Mean for Health and Environmental Justice

Unfortunately, the administration is seeking to undercut the role of sound science. Read more >

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President Trump’s All-Out Attack on Climate Policy

We’ve known for some time that something like this was in the works. Yet that doesn’t take away from the shock of the destructive details. Read more >

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Photos from the early 1970s showing the effects of industrial pollution in North Birmingham, AL (left) and Cleveland, OH (right). A big reason why our nation’s air quality has improved since then is the EPA’s ongoing work to implement the Clean Air Act. Photos: Leroy Woodson and Frank Aleksandrowicz, NARA

Trump Administration Attacks Public Health Protections with Proposed Cuts to EPA Budget

News reports indicate that the Trump administration’s ‘skinny budget,’ to be announced tomorrow, will include draconian cuts to the EPA’s staff and budget. It’s pretty clear that despite President Trump’s claims that he will work “to promote clean air and clean water,” his administration is hostile to the very agency that helps safeguard these vital resources and protect our health.

Congress should reject outright these attempts to gut the EPA. Here’s why. Read more >

Photos by Leroy Woodson and Frank Aleksandrowicz, NARA
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Cutting FEMA’s budget would put the safety of Americans at risk and seriously undermine our nation’s ability to prepare for and recover from disasters, such as Hurricane Ike in Texas in 2008. Photo:Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

How to Make Disasters More Costly and Harmful: Cut FEMA’s Budget

A potential 11 percent cut in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget would seriously undermine our nation’s ability to prepare for and recover from disasters, and put the safety of Americans at risk. Congress should reject it. Read more >

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