Jeeves
When you see Trump touring Texas, remember this
Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:08pm
2601:405:4480:3263:80da:8cc6:34ea:3dfa

His actions are going to cause this to happen again .. and again ... and again.
Trump's rollback of flood protections risks further Houston-style calamity
Houston has some of the most lax building regulations in potential flood zones – and the president wants to spread that policy across the US

(excerpts)

After all the furore, it’s hard to remember now that Donald Trump’s combative press conference earlier this month was supposed to be about infrastructure. Holding two flowcharts, the president explained how his latest executive orders would slash the time it takes to get new buildings improved and that the permitting process would “go very, very quickly”.

History will remember that he immediately went on to “very quickly” deal with another issue , blaming parties on “both sides” for the fatal clashes during the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

However, although his infrastructure reforms were lost in that controversy, his regulatory slashing may yet have a long-term, and controversial, impact of its own.

As tropical storm Harvey spins slowly over the Gulf coast, catastrophic flooding has forced tens of thousands from their homes in and near Houston. And with the storm moving into Louisiana, officials only expect the number of people whose lives are upended by it to increase.

An executive order issued by Trump earlier this month revoked an Obama-era directive that had established flood-risk standards for federally funded infrastructure projects built in areas prone to flooding or subject to the effects of sea-level rise – like many of those now sinking in Texas.

Houston already has some of the laxest building regulations for structures in potential flood zones and the president wants to spread that policy across the US.

“It makes no sense,” said Steve Ellis, vice-president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Taxpayers deserve to have the assurance that if they provide assistance to a community to build or rebuild, it’s done in a way that isn’t going to cost taxpayers money in the future.”

Storms and flooding are generally becoming costlier and more frequent and data suggests climate change is a leading culprit.

Many towns are located in coastal areas and riverine floodplains, where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says “building codes are often insufficient in reducing damage from extreme events”. The number of “billion-dollar events” – natural disasters ranging from flooding to wildfires that incur more than $1bn in damage – has risen over the past few decades, increasing in cost from a roughly $10bn five-year average in 1985 to more than $50bn in 2015.

Obama signed executive order 13690 in 2015 in response to rising sea levels and surface temperatures and more frequent storms, particularly tropical cyclones. The Obama order, with its references to sea-level rise and climate change, became an instant target for an administration eager to expunge those terms from the political lexicon.

“That executive order was meant to help Fema pressure communities to rebuild in a smarter, more resilient way,” said Ellis. “This removes that pressure.”


    • TROLL DELETEDRemoved by moderator, Fri Sep 1 1:28pm
      • Not even close.HeavyHemi, Fri Sep 1 2:14pm
        Stagnant wages not inflation. Inflation has been very low for years less than three percent. So in that time, prices have increased around 125%...That is nowhere near five times.
        • TROLL DELETED2Removed by moderator, Fri Sep 1 4:52pm
          • Maybe you are now. Stuff, isn't real estate.HeavyHemi, Fri Sep 1 5:46pm
            It's stuff. And you're still wrong. You know, you can look this up. https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/census/historic/values.html in 19985 was Dec 1985 $106,100 Oct 2011 the last date the have... more
            • TROLL DELETED3Removed by moderator, Fri Sep 1 10:06pm
              • Great. So your area is unusual.HeavyHemi, Sat Sep 2 1:33am
                And you believe we should apply your unusual conditions to represent everyone. That doesn't seem like a wise argument. The counter is to simply admit your claims were wrong as no reasonable person... more
    • Oh, kariiiist... Short-sightedness galore. (nm)Sia☺giah, Thu Aug 31 10:23pm
      • From https://qz.com/1064364/hurricane-harvey-houstons-flooding-made-worse-by-unchecked-urban-development-and-wetland-destruction/ (excerpts - I recommend reading the whole article.) Since Houston,... more
        • someone MUST destroy one for some reason, they have to replicate it nearby and that only happens if there's NO special critters or plants living there. I'm talking single homes with that. Huge... more
          • Have you ever been to Rock Springs, Wyoming?PH👁👁EY, Mon Sep 11 7:49pm
            It is an oil town. Booms and busts. When its booming it a wild ass place that will curl your hair. Texas is kinda like that, no respect for the natural order. It's all about money and plundering the... more
            • Nope. Nowhere near it. (nm)Sia☺giah, Wed Sep 13 2:20am
              • Count your blessings.PH🍻🍻EY, Wed Sep 13 11:59pm
                When I was traveling through that area it was known as an oil boom town. Wild as hell. Crazy. Rip roaring. Happiness was seeing the last of the place in my rear view mirror.
        • Do we prohibit folks from reproducing?Sprout, Fri Sep 1 8:36am
          Do we prohibit people from moving to a city like Houston? IMO population is ultimately the root of the problem. Human beings need places to live and places to work. And as long as there are ever more ... more
          • Again, from the article: Just 10 days before Harvey struck, the president signed an executive order that rescinded federal flood protection standards put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama.... more
            • Again, easy to say what NOT to do...Sprout, Fri Sep 1 9:55am
              But it doesn't say what TO do... Easy to say where NOT to build. But it doesn't say WHERE to put the houses and other support structures for the next 10K people in the Houston area... I guarantee you ... more
              • Stop breeding or die younger! (nm)PH👶👶EY, Mon Sep 11 12:19am
              • " So, in the 10 days between the executive order and the storm, all of these problems occurred? LOL... sure... let's blame Trump for stuff that happened before he was in office. " No, I'm blaming... more
                • live in cities like Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, etc... Interesting.
                  • That would keep the population down,Jeeves, Fri Sep 1 4:53pm
                    You could do it by lottery if you want. But the population in wetlands needs to be severely limited.
                    • Interesting....Sprout, Fri Sep 1 6:20pm
                      How remarkably discriminatory against the poor. It doesn't bother me, but I suspect the advocates for the poor would be unhappy with your proposal to price them out of many of the major cities.
                      • It won't "price them out of the cities"Jeeves, Fri Sep 1 7:11pm
                        Only the wetlands. Which tend to flood anyway. The current system tends to concentrate the poor in flood-prone areas. Why not put the wealthy, who can afford the loss, in the floodplane?
                        • But why would they?Sprout, Fri Sep 1 7:37pm
                          If you make the flood prone areas more expensive the rich will buy up the non-flood prone areas. Rich folks generally didn't get rich by making foolish financial decisions. So, if you make the flood... more
                          • Let's just say I don't agree
                            • OK... I'm hard pressed to understand whySprout, Fri Sep 1 8:06pm
                              wealthy folks would intentionally choose to build on land that will be VASTLY more expensive tax wise voluntarily as opposed to building on land that would be much cheaper tax wise to build on?
                              • Now you understand Jeeves, Fri Sep 1 9:20pm
                                The goal is to have people NOT build on wetlands/floodplains. 8^)
                                  • No you don't.HeavyHemi, Sat Sep 2 2:26pm
                                    Why do you insist that something thinks or is saying something despite them telling you directly you're wrong?
                                    • If not, who do you expect to END UP with it? By reducing the SUPPLY of a commodity without reducing the DEMAND for a commodity, how do you plan on AVOIDING a price increase? And if you don't, who do... more
                                      • It's the tax structure that forces the destruction of the environment. In my county not so very long ago standing timber (TREES) was taxed. What did that encourage? Yep, you guessed it. Land holdings ... more
                                      • You mean I can only use your metrics?HeavyHemi, Sat Sep 2 5:41pm
                                        That the ONLY way to implement policy is via taxation. Methinks you're repeating the same mistakes we point out to you time and time again: The argument you are having in your head, isn't the one... more
                                        • Taxation was the proposed solution...Sprout, Mon Sep 4 4:57pm
                                          Not my proposal, but the proposal we have been discussing. Care to offer a different proposal? One that WOULD in some way not only prevent construction on flood prone lands, but ALSO ensure that real ... more
                      • Why do you believe only the poor live there?HeavyHemi, Fri Sep 1 6:23pm
                        How remarkably narrow minded...and of course not an honest and accurate reflection of the content of his post. Grow up.
          • Development should be permitted only if the consequences of development are addressed and how the consequences will be handled so that the consequences do not cause unintended problems...traffic,... more
            • Some other sucker's dime. Pikes, Fri Sep 1 10:06am
              Cheyenne Mountain is home of NORAD. Over the last three decades, developers built mostly large scale, mansionesque homes on the eastern flank of the mountain, adjacent to the wealthy area of the... more
            • they have already outstripped their water supply... They should perhaps be required to exile 30% of their population, or maybe more? Under what legal authority CAN Los Angeles do this? Again, easy to ... more
              • It's a great big Mexican sponge. (nm)PH👹🙏🏽EY, Thu Sep 14 3:24pm
              • Los Angeles should be allowed to expand Merlin, Fri Sep 1 10:07am
                subject to government regulations requiring development be permitted only if the consequences of development are addressed and how the consequences will be handled so that the consequences do not... more
                • of the resources available. Study up on the water wars that went on as LA annexed water resources. Plus look at all of the ecological damage done by farming all of that natural land to feed all of... more
                  • Yes...we should do absolutely nothing.HeavyHemi, Fri Sep 1 6:28pm
                    Maybe just laugh at your silly antics of posting extremes and dishonestly portraying what has been posted by others. Seriously, grow up. For certain Spout, things are not going to get better in some... more
                    • This gets back to the question I have been asking. Not just what not to do. What to ACTUALLY do? And a plan must be ACTUALLY applicable in the real world. Simply pricing people out of homes isn't... more
                • Eric Berger summed it up pretty wellJeeves, Fri Sep 1 10:38am
                  Eric Berger just published an account of what he went through in Houston during Harvey. It's a good read. I completely agree with his conclusion. This is probably the worst US flood storm ever, and... more
                  • for a WORST CASE, he said about 25 inches... of course we got DOUBLE THAT... Yet it is remarkable how hindsight is 20/20... at least for this forecaster... Ours humbly admitted that foresight wasn't... more
                  • One way Trump intervenedPikes, Fri Sep 1 1:23pm
                    An Obama executive order Trump recently repealed required government notification of property owners who chose to rebuild on determined flood plain or flood drainage lands, that they did so at their... more
                    • They gov't can alwasy be asked...Sprout, Fri Sep 1 6:27pm
                      Lots of folks ASK FEMA and the federal gov't for all sorts of crap.... The proper answer I such cases is a simple and polite, "no." No reason to take extra effort to notify them. When they get denied ... more
                      • This is differentPikes, Fri Sep 1 7:14pm
                        It requires people with lost property in a flood zone to be notified that for future reference, as per future needs, FEMA and other Federal assistance cannot be expected if they rebuild there.
                • Applied to CongressPikes, Fri Sep 1 10:22am
                  Congressional spending could follow a similar model. Any bill submitted must include a plan for payment that does not add to the debt. No more unfunded mandates. If a bill doesn't have such a plan,... more
    • Ha! The zealots never disappoint.SES, Tue Aug 29 1:44pm
      "Storms and flooding are generally becoming costlier and more frequent and data suggests climate change is a leading culprit." So laughably predictable. I wonder if there are really people so... more
      • Yes, you are very predictable.Jeeves, Tue Aug 29 2:08pm
        And always the same attack: projecting some ludicrous argument instead of addressing what was actually said. " I wonder if there are really people so incredibly stupid as to think that it's possible... more
        • "is what happens.."Pikes, Fri Sep 1 9:00am
          Anything to use those favorite words, "incredibly stupid" "laughably predictable" and "their stupidity." I read one Trumpeon refute global warming in a post about the storm. He wrote an explanation... more
        • Well done... (nm)Sia☺giah, Thu Aug 31 10:25pm
    • Trump Is a Big TouristMerlin, Tue Aug 29 1:22pm
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR3k4vU7MjA