I was just at the BICEP breakfast (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) at the Ceres Conference in Boston.
The acting chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Mike Boots was the lead speaker at the breakfast, promoting actions on fuel standards.
I had a brief conversation with him about the Homeowner Flood Insurance and Affordability Act, signed by President Obama in March.
He says that it’s unfortunate that flood insurance premiums do not reflect economic risks, and that the day when they do reflect economic risks will be delayed.
As background: The federal government currently subsidizes flood insurance, which encourages people to build and rebuild homes in flood-prone areas. This in turns makes it harder for us to have a country and an economy which is robust to the risk of storms.
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, from 2012, was going to remove those subsidies. I wrote my Congressman in January, supporting those reforms. But because of this new law from March, only the industrial and commercial subsidies will go away, while the homeowners’ subsidies will stay.
The White House now hopes to moves forward on this by giving homeowners tools for understanding and dealing with flood risks. I hope that Congress and the White House will move forward on this and on the fair pricing of flood risk.