“WASHINGTON — One of the federal government’s main efforts to push Americans to prepare for climate threats is in question after the Senate majority leader’s office objected to a plan to adjust flood insurance rates.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was preparing to announce new rates for federal flood insurance on April 1, so that the prices people pay would more accurately reflect the risks they face. The change would very likely help reduce Americans’ vulnerability to floods and hurricanes by discouraging construction in high-risk areas. But it would also increase insurance costs for some households, making it a tough sell politically.
Last week, the office of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, pushed back on the changes, according to several people familiar with the discussion. That pushback has caused FEMA to pause the rollout of the new rates.” . . .
I don’t understand Schumer’s objection. The current data suggests that lower cost homes have been overpaying on flood insurance while higher cost homes have been underpaying based on a formula that assesses risk. Flood insurance is one of the most powerful tools to limit climate change damage to communities. The Biden administration has rightfully established climate change as a top priority. What am I missing? Absent additional data, this is a disgraceful position for Schumer.