"Devastation caused by Tropical Storm Harvey will only exacerbate congressional debate over flood insurance reform, likely forcing lawmakers to pass a short-term extension before the federal program expires at the end of September."
Laws & Regulations
"President Trump pledged to rebuild Houston and Texas bigger and better than ever. However, earlier this month, he rescinded an Obama executive order that required flood-damaged property to be rebuilt higher and stronger. Trump also has proposed eliminating federal flood mapping and the federal government's top disaster agency."
"Even as the floodwaters continue to rise in East Texas, it's clear that Hurricane Harvey will force a new reckoning over major energy and climate policy questions."
"Oil and gas producers might have a harder time breaking even in shale plays containing federally controlled land, but that may have little to do with the regulatory and permitting burdens associated with extracting hydrocarbons from public acreage, energy researchers say."
"Homeowners suffering flood damage from Harvey are more likely to be on the hook for losses than victims of prior storms — a potentially crushing blow to personal finances and neighborhoods along the Gulf Coast. Insurance experts say only a small fraction of homeowners in Harvey’s path of destruction have flood insurance."
"A former banker who is now U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's point man for Superfund has been fined $125,000 by federal banking regulators and barred from banking activity."
"The U.S. EPA inspector general is planning to audit Administrator Scott Pruitt's travel back home to Oklahoma."
"Hurricane Harvey is strengthening as it approaches the Texas coast, and the massive storm is underscoring another big disturbance on the way: the battle over President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the National Weather Service."
"The catastrophic floods brought by Hurricane Harvey to southeastern Texas will pose an immediate test for the White House and Congress, pressing policymakers to approve billions of dollars in recovery funds even though they haven’t agreed on much else this year."
"With little notice, more than two dozen state legislatures have passed “seed-preemption laws” designed to block counties and cities from adopting their own rules on the use of seeds, including bans on GMOs. Opponents say that there’s nothing more fundamental than a seed, and that now, in many parts of the country, decisions about what can be grown have been taken out of local control and put solely in the hands of the state."