Roundup: Biden talks aid / Utility workers / Oil spills / Construction jobs 

    Climate crisis help:  President Joe Biden today pledged robust federal help to the states battered by Hurricane Ida and for western states beset by wildfires—with the catastrophes serving as deadly reminders that the “climate crisis” has arrived. “These extreme storms, and the climate crisis, are here,” Biden said in a White House speech. The president says he will further press Congress to pass his nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill to improve roads, bridges, the electric grid and sewer systems. Read more about Biden’s speech. 

    Fixing the grid: Thousands of utility workers are descending on Louisiana with everything from hip waders to drones as part of the massive effort to restore electricity, The Wall Street Journal reports. As many as 25,000 workers from 38 states and Washington, D.C., are expected to help with the recovery effort this week, according to the Edison Electric Institute, an industry group of investor-owned utilities, and Entergy. Read the full story.   

    Cleanup: The U.S. Coast Guard says it is investigating reports of possible oil spills resulting from Hurricane Ida after the publication of aerial photos by The Associated Press. Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 3rd Class Gabriel Wisdom said today that aircraft were being dispatched to investigate reports of a miles-long slick in the Gulf of Mexico south of Port Fourchon. Read more. 

    Job openings: Construction firms are struggling to find enough qualified workers to hire even as they continue to be impacted by pandemic-induced project delays and supply chain disruptions, according to the results of a workforce survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America. The survey results underscore how the coronavirus pandemic has created constraints on the demand for work even as it limits the number of workers available to hire. In Louisiana, 85% of construction firms have open positions, and 100% of those surveyed said they have had difficulties filling open jobs. See the Louisiana responses to the survey.