Ten days before Hurricane Harvey devastated the greater Houston area, President Trump signed an executive order revoking a set of Obama-era regulations that would have made federally funded infrastructure less vulnerable to flooding.
The federal regulations pulled back would have accounted for risks of flooding and sea level because of climate change, and could have contributed to disaster recovery and rebuilding.
Experts in the field are predicting the total cost of Harvey will cost Texas between $30 billion and $100 billion.
Trump’s rollback of Obama Federal Flood Risk Management Standards will likely result in wasted construction unsustainable for future catastrophes and floods—Houston has experienced three 500-year floods in just the last decade alone.
This executive order is not fiscally conservative," says Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican in a statement. "It's irresponsible and it will lead to taxpayer dollars being wasted on projects that may not be built to endure the flooding we are already seeing and know is only going to get worse."
By the numbers, the Obama-era regulations would save taxpayers tremendously. The regulations increase building costs by 0.25% to 1.25% but studies show taxpayers will save $4 on post-disaster aid for every $1 spent on disaster mitigation.
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