Politics North Carolina's Cooper blames climate change for need to change flood policy for state buildings
We've Had Other Climate Defeats. This One Is By Far the Weirdest.
Seven ways of looking at where climate action goes from here.Seven ways of looking at where climate action goes from here.The point wasn’t to sanitize the deterioration of the planet. It was to report on the topic honestly. Even after President Donald Trump took office, you could look across the economy and see bright spots of decarbonization, if only policy makers would capitalize on them.
(The Center Square) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive this week directing the Department of Administration to rework the state's floodplain management policy, a move he said is necessitated by climate change.
"Using foresight and data to protect public buildings and other structures from flood damage is smart and responsible," Cooper said on Monday. "Climate change is causing more intense storms and flooding so this update on floodplain management and construction requirements will save taxpayer money, protect structures and keep workers safer."
Climate setbacks aren’t the end of climate action
Bipartisan congressional action is still the best pathway for effective climate policy. © Provided by The Hill The Supreme Court’s decision in the West Virginia vs. EPA case came as particularly bad news for activists who had hoped regulation would be the key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In a 6-to-3 decision, the court curtailed certain authorities granted to the EPA under the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Specifically, the majority struck down the agency’s ability to issue sweeping regulations to compel power plants to transition toward cleaner energy sources.
Executive Order 266 directs the Department of Administration to update building requirements for new state construction located in a floodplain and to develop requirements for new state buildings outside of a floodplain that are at risk of flooding.
The move stems from Cooper's 2020 North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience, which recommends "the state evaluate the implication of increased risk associated with changes in climate patterns and adapt development policies and construction techniques to minimize the detrimental impacts," according to the order.
While the order won't have any significant impact on taxpayers because Cooper lacks budget power to fund the initiative, it serves as the latest reminder to residents of the governor's unrelenting focus on climate change, said Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst with the John Locke Foundation.
North Korea pushes traditional medicine to fight COVID-19
PAJU, South Korea (AP) — As a medical student in North Korea, Lee Gwang-jin said he treated his fevers and other minor ailments with traditional herbal medicine. But bad illness could mean trouble because hospitals in his rural hometown lacked the ambulances, beds, even the electricity at times needed to treat critical or emergency patients. So Lee was skeptical when he heard recent North Korean state media reports that claimed such so-called Koryo traditional medicine is playing a key role in the nation's fight against COVID-19, which has killed millions around the world.
"It's not clear why Gov. Cooper needed an executive order to ask his own cabinet agency to look at state government building standards. One suspects that the order was designed to give the governor an excuse to make another public pronouncement linked to climate change," Kokai said. "That said, it probably is a good idea for the state to take a thorough look at policies last updated in 1990. Much has changed over the past three decades. It certainly can't hurt for officials to focus attention on standards that could help publicly owned buildings withstand weather-related challenges for decades to come."
Section 1 of EO 266 gives the North Carolina Department of Administration 18 months to update the state's Uniform Floodplain Management Policy, which was last updated by Gov. James Martin in 1990.
Cooper's order requires the policy to include a process and criteria for determining whether state construction projects are subject to the policy, and to create a process for determining whether construction is at flood risk.
Exclusive-Glaciers vanishing at record rate in Alps following heatwaves
Exclusive-Glaciers vanishing at record rate in Alps following heatwavesMORTERATSCH GLACIER, Switzerland (Reuters) - From the way 45-year-old Swiss glaciologist Andreas Linsbauer bounds over icy crevasses, you would never guess he was carrying 10 kg of steel equipment needed to chart the decline of Switzerland's glaciers.
Cooper also called for the policy to "implement measures to reduce construction in a floodplain to the greatest extent feasible," and to "set reasonably protective and cost-effective flood resilience standards for proposed construction" both inside and outside of a floodplain, based on risk.
Section 2 of EO 266 tasks the Department of Administration to consult with the other state departments, agencies and stakeholders to "analyze the effect of expanding the requirements of the policy beyond state-owned construction to also include state-funded construction," in terms of legal, financial, environmental, and regulatory implications.
"The analysis also shall address the financial impact to the state of not applying the policy to state-funded construction, including losses reasonably anticipated due to flooding," according to the order.
"Since this is an executive order, rather than legislation, there should be little to no immediate impact for taxpayers. But it will be important to watch how this review proceeds," Kokai said. "If the Department of Administration pushes for changes, it could become more expensive and time-consuming to build state government structures in the future.
Manchin walks back opposition and agrees to $370 billion for climate and energy and a 40% emissions cut by 2030, report says
Democrats praised the deal struck by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin, who previously indicated he wouldn't support additional climate spending. 1/8 SLIDES © Walter Bibikow/Getty Images How Madison, Wisconsin, is accelerating climate action with renewable energy, recycling, and green job initiatives Madison, Wisconsin's government, residents, and organizations are making it more resilient to climate change. Renewable energy, electric city vehicles, and creating a climate-friendly economy are top priorities.
"In that case, state lawmakers will have to weigh the costs of these changes against the potential long-term benefits. They will have to balance the need for safe, long-lasting buildings versus the public's need for efficient management of taxpayer dollars. This is a story that deserves to be tracked."
Washington Examiner Videos
Tags:, , , ,
Original Author: Victor Skinner | The Center Square contributor
Flooding in central Appalachia kills at least 8 in Kentucky .
JACKSON, Ky. (AP) — Torrential rains unleashed devastating floods in Appalachia on Thursday, as fast-rising water killed at least eight people in Kentucky and sent people scurrying to rooftops to be rescued. Water gushed from hillsides and flooded out of streambeds, inundating homes, businesses and roads throughout eastern Kentucky. Parts of western Virginia and southern West Virginia also saw extensive flooding. Rescue crews used helicopters and boats to pick up people trapped by floodwaters. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted Thursday evening that the state's death toll from flooding had risen to eight.