For those of you who are missing the warmth of summer, head to Miami. The House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee is having an October 27th roundtable discussion on “Concepts for the Next Water Resources Development Act”. Details, including background and witnesses, can be found here. Already booked that weekend for a trip to view the display of autumn leaves in New England? You can watch the event live streamed here.
Inside tip: For a discussion of some concepts that won’t be raised by any of the Oct. 27th event’s witnesses, stay tuned for my next blog which gets sent to all WaterLog subscribers and is posted on my LinkedIn account.
Congress passes another disaster supplemental: Congress has just approved another $36.5 billion in supplemental funding after p[providing assurances to the two Texas Senators that their post-Harvey concerns would be dealt with in a future bill. This measure provides $18.7 billion for FEMA to deal with both hurricane and wildfire damages, plus a $16 billion increase un NFIP’s borrowing limit. There’s also money for nutrition assistance to Puerto Rico. Stay tuned because there will be a big supplemental coming for Corps of Engineers projects damaged by hurricanes and floods. Read more here.
Now for that four-letter phrase: It’s ‘climate change” and the General Accountability Office (which is an arm of Congress) has just issued a report that recommends that the President use what information that exists on economic effects of climate change “to help identify significant climate risks and craft appropriate responses.” In addition to increased coastal infrastructure damage, GAO cites these impacts: increased damage to urban drainage systems, decreased agriculture yields, increased heat-related mortality (but decreased mortality from cold weather), increased wildfires and more. In fact, the report says that extreme weather has cost the federal government over $350 billion in the last decade! If you want just the one-page highlights, click here. WARNING: Some of you may want to read this report in the privacy of your own bathroom so the boss doesn’t see you reading about ‘climate change’. I once knew of a Senator who wouldn’t allow his staff to be caught reading anything from the other Senator from the same state—and they were both from the same party! It was grounds to be fired. So be careful out there. These are dangerous times.
Did you know that most of the Corps studies authorized in the post-Sandy disaster supplemental have yet to be finished? Sources tell me that some will never be done because of lack of a non-Federal sponsor. Sandy struck 5 years ago, and we’re still doing nothing at the Federal level to reduce the safety and economic risks of coastal storms. One or two States and some local communities, however, have woken up and undertaken new initiatives. You can read about them on the WaterLog website. Know of more? Please send me the information.
The Congressional Calendar: Tax reform is taking center-stage. If you want to know more about how it might impact you, your community, or your business, click here. Funding the government and reauthorizing and/or reforming the NFIP are facing a December 8th deadline.