Left & Right Agree — Trump’s infrastructure order is plain stupid

Click to enlargeWhat downtown Houston might look like or worse

No one likes Trump’s new infrastructure order…The 2015 Federal Risk Management Standard update was supported by conservative and liberal groups alike.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed a new order that rescinded an Obama-era rule requiring federally-funded infrastructure to follow stricter building standards aimed at reducing flood-related damages. The Obama order also required that federally-funded infrastructure built along the coastline take into account future projections for sea-level rise.

❝ Trump’s order has already prompted swift backlash from across the political spectrum, with everyone from environmental groups to free market think-tanks arguing that there was little upside to rescinding a rule aimed at saving taxpayer money and preventing loss of life in flood-prone areas…

Since the Carter Administration, federal agencies have been required to avoid building in floodplains, but until 2015, there was no requirement that agencies that couldn’t — or wouldn’t — avoid building in flood-prone areas take extra steps to make those buildings resilient…Additionally, federal agencies constructing projects along the coastline were instructed to look at sea-level rise projections for the project’s lifetime, and take those into account when siting and building…

It’s called saving money, saving lives, by reasonable – maybe even smart – construction and siting.

❝ …Flood damage cost Americans more than $260 billion between 1980 and 2013, while federal flood insurance claims averaged nearly $2 billion per year between 2006 and 2015. Since 1998, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent almost $50 billion in public grants to help communities recover from federally-declared flood disasters…

Flood insurance requires all private development projects meet the guidelines just erased by Trump. Many local building codes echo national and international standards meant to save lives and ensure that residential and business structures will survive the disasters we’ve already survived – and will confront again.

12 thoughts on “Left & Right Agree — Trump’s infrastructure order is plain stupid

  1. Category 4 says:

    “Hurricane Harvey: What’s in the path?” (Washington Post 8/25/17) https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/harvey/
    “It is not hyperbole to say that if the forecast verifies, Texas is about to experience one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the state.” (Governor Greg Abbott)
    (NOAA) “…Steering currents will collapse during the weekend, leaving Harvey stranded somewhere near the central Texas coast or perhaps just inland for what could be several days. If anything, model guidance is stronger than ever on the notion that Harvey will stall for the better part of a week. The heaviest 24-hour rainfall in U.S. records is the 42” observed in Alvin, TX (just south of Houston) during slow-moving Tropical Depression Claudette on July 25-26, 1979.”

  2. River risin' says:

    “Hurricane Harvey Threatens Largest Flood Insurer: The Government. A federally underwritten program, already roughly $25 billion in debt from earlier storms, faces huge new claims” (Wall Street Journal 8/26/17) https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-harvey-threatens-largest-flood-insurer-1503771686
    “Flood insurance splits GOP, spurs bipartisan dealmaking as deadline looms : Dozens of Republicans have fought proposals by the House Financial Services Committee that they say would make flood insurance unaffordable.” (Politico 8/27/17) “LOUISIANA — Coastal state Republicans are bucking members of their own party and teaming up with Democrats as lawmakers struggle to salvage an agreement to keep the National Flood Insurance Program alive.”

  3. Genesis 7:19 says:

    Tropical Storm Harvey has dropped more than 11 trillion gallons of water on Texas, triggering catastrophic, unprecedented flooding in the Houston area. There may be no parallel available to any other rainstorm in U.S. history, based on the number of people affected, amount of water involved, and other factors, meteorologists have warned.
    Due to its wide geographic scope across America’s 4th-largest city, the ensuing flood disaster may rank as one of the most, if not the most, expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.
    Based on information from the National Weather Service (NWS) around 25 trillion gallons may be the final statewide rainfall total for Harvey, which is such a unique storm due to its slow-moving nature that the NWS has nearly run out of superlatives describing it. http://mashable.com/2017/08/27/harvey-dumps-11-trillion-gallons-water-houston-flood/#5y31NIDKQaqn

  4. Cassandra says:

    2016 investigation revealed just how unprepared Texas was for Hurricane Harvey http://theweek.com/speedreads/720681/terrifying-investigation-reveals-just-how-unprepared-texas-hurricane-harvey See “Hell and High Water” at https://www.propublica.org/article/hell-and-high-water-text also “Houston faces tough choices to handle Harvey and future flooding :
    Jim Blackburn, co-director at the SSPEED Center at Rice University, talks with Rachel Maddow about the challenges and options for Houston in dealing with the flooding and storm surge effects of severe storms.” http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/houston-faces-tough-choices-to-handle-harvey-and-future-flooding-1034761283864

  5. Helrea says:

    “Houston’s flooding shows what happens when you ignore science and let developers run rampant” https://qz.com/1064364/hurricane-harvey-houstons-flooding-made-worse-by-unchecked-urban-development-and-wetland-destruction/ (includes interactive map). https://qz.com/1064364/hurricane-harvey-houstons-flooding-made-worse-by-unchecked-urban-development-and-wetland-destruction/
    Meanwhile: “While Harvey devastates Texas, 1,200 people have died from severe floods in south Asia” https://qz.com/1065404/while-hurricane-harvey-devastates-texas-1200-people-have-died-from-severe-floods-in-india-nepal-and-bangladesh-in-south-asia/
    “…And though it’s entirely understandably why the devastation of developed metropolises becomes international headlines, this year’s deluges in the less-developed districts of south Asia are a clear sign that the combined effects of climate change, weak infrastructure, and irresponsible governance are becoming deadlier as the years go by.” https://qz.com/1065404/while-hurricane-harvey-devastates-texas-1200-people-have-died-from-severe-floods-in-india-nepal-and-bangladesh-in-south-asia/

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