Republicans refuse to admit it, but rolling back regulations can have deadly consequences. As an example weeks before Hurricane Harvey hit, Trump rolled back an Obama era regulation that required infrastructure to be built with rising sea levels in mind.
The scene in Houston is likely to become more common as Trump signed an executive order rolling back the standard for infrastructure in flood prone areas. At the time, experts and non-Republicans condemned the executive order as short-sighted, petty, stupid, and potentially deadly.
According to data from NOAA, “In 2015, about 64 percent (112 out of 176) of the flood deaths involved vehicles. Many of those likely occurred when a person was trying to cross a flooded road. Vehicles have also been a part of many flood-related fatalities in 2016. As an example, many of the 26 deaths in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew involved motorists being swept away on flooded roads.”
Houston is a textbook example of what can happen when urban sprawl is combined with lax building standards and poor flood planning. Houston residents have been complaining for 15 years about the regular flooding problems in the city.
Sam Brody a Texas A&M disaster mitigation researcher told the Texas Tribune before Harvey, “More people die here than anywhere else from floods. More property per capita is lost here. And the problem’s getting worse.”
Donald Trump wants to believe that the Texas flood is a once in centuries event, but due to climate change one in a hundred years events are becoming more common, but instead of taking the country forward, Trump’s executive order set the stage for flooding that strikes the nation’s infrastructure to become more crippling and deadly.
Regulations exist to protect people, which is why Trump’s deregulatory folly shows a complete disrespect for human life. Trump’s spiteful obsession with undoing Obama’s legacy is going to end up costing people their lives.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association