tv Washington Journal Representative Garret Graves R-LA Discusses Threats... CSPAN September 12, 2017 9:06am-9:36am EDT
c-span.org,/classroom, to sign up. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's companies and n is brought to you today by your sabl or satellite provider. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest of the morning is representative garret louisiana and here to talk about what happens when the country get ravaged by storms. good morning to you. us your response in louisiana and what you did before you came to congress with damage? guest: we have a company, spent my whole life around south in the unique terrain. largely s back, i was responsible for restoring the levee system, wetlands following hurricanes, katrina and
rita. and made extraordinary progress resilience of the community and ecoshg-system in louisiana. learn about d you the role of the government from the job that you did? backwards, entire paradigm, how we approach upaster is backwards, we end spending billions following disaster rather than millions improving ctive and resilience of our communities. example after example we can where we have wasted money and spent more money coming in disaster rather than improving resilience. entire 't go around the country and say make everyone resillient to thousand year can make l, but you principal investment necessary vulnerability areas and save federal taxpayers significant dollars.
are seeing a trend right ow, coastal area of the continental united states in land area is 10% of the land of represents 40% of the population and we're moreg that trend increase, and more people moving to coastal areas. we've got to get better at being resillient communities in the coastal area as this trend continues or we'll go broke as a nation continuing disasters.to host: how can the areas become ore resilient before this happens? guest: years ago, people levees, they are an important tool, levee or pump wall. station, and in coastal louisiana, we restored arrier islands in the first line of defense. came in and protectd and restored the coastal forest, barrier, using zoning ordinances, elevation of homes, standards, tools
you can use in your tool box and adapt to different areas. you can make communities ecosystems nd make resilient. there are usually relationships in productivity of your ecosystem. host: garret graves serves on the infrastructure subcommittee resources and environment, chairs the committee and here to talk about areas of the coastal the u.s. to ask questions, 202-748-8000 for democrats. 202-748-8001. and independents, 202-748-8002. area live in a coastal and you want to get your thoughts on what is happening today, particularly in light of tropical storms, -- 8003.002 how much more are we spending the hat do you think about kind of spending about to be done? guest: it is extraordinary money, twen hafr and he irma, significant increase, or more.
that is similar to numbers for he 2005 hurricane, katrina, rita and others that happened then. $150 billion, ly and calculation indicate we $8 and ve spent between 10 billion and prevented 90% of dollars from being spent and of the lives lost and we lost around 1800 lives, hurricane katrina. data is out there, the proof is out there that we can do a better job of being proactive ather than continuing to be reactive. this will be extraordinary efforts response following irma and harvey. i was in houston this weekend and the omes devastation is ark mazing. host: one of the conversations to the storm and currently going on is future of the national flood insurance program. been that program and what does this overall to area?oastal
guest: the national flood insurance program, it is problematic we've taken a sdaft split off into the federal program. you have disasters, whether it things like or wildfires, earthquakes, tornados and other things. should move in two directions. one is move in the direction of policy.l hazard type allow private sector to opposedate in those, as to monopoly on flood insurance. secondly, we can no longer take look at it nce and as just offering insurance, of resillians and vulnerability, if you are annually on ns efforts, the federal government, have you five ederal agencies spevending on resilience, under the flood insurance program. approach and again, if we end up spending more money by continuing to have disconnected approach.
host: $25 billion in debt, some debt andr resolve that let it go. guest: we should. first of all, hurricane katrina, around $16 billion of debt attribute to the storm. engineer stood up and said this was engineering failure. he didn't say failure of the policy, it was engineering failure. if that were private sector scenario, the engineering company would be liable for the damages. in this case, we're holding holders, i believe this year alone 400 million in the debt lone on payment. the other big spike of where you attributable to was from hurricane sandy. extraordinary events and i think when you take those two events out, the program is solidly in he black to the tune of billions of dollars and i think those were anomalies, and in thosestorms instances, you have catastrophic storms, the government needs to and provide assistance.
host: we'll take calls, john in on with ing, you are representative garret graves. good morning. caller: yes, sir, good morning. is, you are talking about investment we need to make preventative measures, which i agree with. critics u suppose the will say the outcome of investment system uncertain should not waste money on uncertain results. shortage of people who will ay, when you talk about zoning measures, building requirements, et etcetera, that is the government to uing on how they want live their life. how do you respond to those criticism? good points. with models today, this is what life, have revious you very developed models that actually can help to inform and outcomes, whether
computer models, physical models and others. 100% certainty, model consist inform us on the improve tions to help protection of different communities in coastal areas, vulnerable areas. i do think if we can get pretty outcome of nce on products w. building standards we have tostandards, respect private property owners, come in and g we say you can't do anything here. what i'm saying, certain areas, you developlear, if this area, have you to comply ith robust zoning and building standards that are related to, correspond to vulnerability this property is exposed to. for example, building much higher, building to a stronger standard in regard to being able certain wind speeds
and things along those lines. you are not increasing the or rnment's liability homeowner or businessowner liability, you are simply using standards and tool necessary tool box that correspond to the risk exposed to.re host: chattanooga, tennessee, republican line, james, go ahead. yes, i would like to comment the representative for knowledge,having such such knowledge in this area and my concern is that he will not a lot of pushback from his colleagues that are also due to the fact this and you'rerogressive so knowledgeable and i'm worried from you getting pushback your own party. thank you very much and i'll listen offline. you.t: yeah, thank i appreciate the concerns. issue where is an
it takes time to go through and educate people. ofther that be other members congress that maybe haven't been exposed to this or the general public. good bit of time and will continue to have hearings, meet with individual have s of congress, different listening sessions and other forums, where we can share experience and actual data to back up this. there is this prejudice or out there any federal spending perhaps system wasteful money and d waste of taxpayer funds. reality is, if you use the right you can demonstrate you are going to save making inary dollars by nvestments and different reports show that principle investments provide return on investment, $3 to $4, and some projects in louisiana in excess $10 in cost savings for every projects.ed in certain
host: baton rouge, danny on with ahead.est, go caller: the guest cited robust predict flooding and known climate change denier, i wondering how he squares the use flood ence to prediction model when is he's a denier.te guest: i'm not sure who you are talking about, i've been very previous job, y s i mentioned, we carried out resiliency projects and if you go back and look at 2012, the used international panel on climate change sea rise numerous , noted on occasions, we measured sea rise and changes in climate and all incorporated into our models using variability on and asntensity, sea rise
you know, being from south louisiana, when you combine sinking or r settling of land in south rise we're th sea experiencing in louisiana is some greatest rates in the world. it would be a pretty big mistake to not take those changes into whenever we were using our modeling to inform which going to perform best under future scenarios. not sure where you got your i've been pretty clear that is something we need to take into consideration. now, in fact,right at home in august, we had a 1000-year storm in north louisiana n. march, we had a 500 year storm. texas had a 500 year storm last harvey, hurricane projecting to be 1000-year storm or greater. 500 year storm, 500 year storm, storm, either i'm
really old or we're seeing changes in trends we need to into account, that is fiscally responsible thing to do to make sure we're preparing for and not just for the past. host: is that some pushback the talked about?r guest: i'm not sure where he was coming from, there is a in many cases, to alk about federal spending and federal investment and infrastructure projects and others. are awful there examples of federal dollars spent on infrastructure budget. right criteria, we have to do this at home. hen i got to louisiana, the legislature had given us $200 million, which sounds like an extraordinary amount of money, but we have a problem that was $60 billion. comparison, it is not a great amount of money. prioritization tool using different models to inform s where we get best bang for
the buck and making principaled investment and getting return on dollars to sit before the legislature and defend making and we're explain why some were not funded and others were. allen, go ahead. -- er: yes, mr. garret grace, i mean, since the flood gone crazy with levees around here and we've the silting of the floods from up north were our coastal land every year and that has with all the ped an e systems and every time oil company wants to put up a marshes, they on't use the old alley ways, they cut a new swauch through and it is leaving
bad trails thous our marsh terrible.s i don't think it is just putting up new levees all the time, we silting, we need our to how ent to go back od wanted us to have it, instead of corps of engineer acting like god. apparently they decided to make go backward to flow downward into another bayou, and the se they didn't have funding to finish the second part of the project, a town that flooded as long as i can remember and i'm 57, is now every year. guest: ellen, thanks, thank you very much. some really good points. first of all, the more we can coastal system or manage our coastal system in louisiana in way that mimic what mother nature did, we'll be better off. for example, after the 1927 noted, they did,
the corps of engineer put levees river. the state of louisiana recruiting three quarters of quare mile per year prior to corps building levees. after levees were built we miles losing 28 square of land per year, now the state f louisiana has lost 2000 square miles f. that were the state of rhode island, it wouldn't exist anymore. extraordinary land loss and i'm not ever going to corps of and defend the engineer on decisions like this, it was a fatally flawed decision, greatest environmental disaster in the nation's history and the fact it was carried out federal government and they are resisting efforts to restore the coastal, reconnect coast. i want to make note, in six and a half years i was working for more coastal did restoration, worked barrier work out than any other period in the state's history. put it up against 30 or 40 year eriod, that is a really
important component of restoration activities. activities, and gas we've got to figure out how to make sure we can coexist with ecosystem and great isheries we have and have incredible energy production. the top in the continental united states and top oil and producer in the united states, we can have those things right, and you are coming in and dredging out a canal, as was done decades ago '50s and '60s, it was irresponsible and contributed to coastal loss. we put more aggressive management techniques in place o require greater restoration by those companies or any company that wanted to do ctivities in the coastal area and we've already seen the benefit of those change necessary management. army corps ntioned viewers ers, remind their role and your take. really good are
people within the corps of engineers, but as an rganization, it is fatally flawed, way too expensive, we have projects in louisiana, they protection and they are responsible for hurricane protection, flood managing rivers and ajor rivers and streams and water ways. they are responsible for restoring the coast as they are other coastal areas. just to give an example, we have a project southwest of new corps of engineer has been studying for 20 years, million and are not on the ground yesterday. e have a billion dollars in fema claims in the same area. we spend more money after rather than being proactive. to the northwest, or west new orleans, of another project literally took years ps of engineer 42 to finish the study. think about that for a minute if company and vate
said i will have this in 42 years, you would be fired, you out of business and you should. these kind of activities continue. e have to have fundamental reform and the way that we manage these types of projects, beerwise we will continue to bleeding cash after disaster rather than being proactive and finished.ojects host: goodyear, arizona, susan is next. morning.hi, good i have a family member, they are tampa bay by the coast. one in savannah and georgia. of them are specifying hat the engineers and all the people that are supposed to make sure that the houses are not as low as the coast, supposed to go by regulation, built strong. and then the -- i don't understand why this hasn't been taken care of. they wouldn't been flood figure they would have taken care of it. not climate change.
we have fire necessary arizona taking of people not care when they build a fire at camp grounds. that e floods in florida the dams are so high, can't get he water through and flood other counties. it is not climate change. your opinion on how we will go and get engineers to houses in hese of tampasavannah, west bay, to do regulations to keep the houses build up high. repeat, repeat and repeat. host: thank you, caller. guest: yeah, i talked about improving resilience of communities. some case its didn't make sense to raise individual homes, ther case its is more cost effective to build levees or pump stations to improve a community.
what's happened is you have homes built perhaps 30 years ago the time, the engineers believed that if they built ground, eet above the they would be safe at three feet. additional development has occurred, they are sending more ater to this community, more drainage to the community. that three feet that was okay longer okay, is no sufficient. a house is not something like a mobile or r types of portable structures, a house is pretty static. and picking up, for example, a concrete slab, ou easily and raising a concrete slab, you get in six igures of cost per home and so it gets really challenging when -- that three foot elevation was unsufficient. to look at e got
tools in the tool chest nsome and provide, maybe elevate homes. n other case its is more cost effective to protect entire ommunities by doing resilience projects like levees. the government and agriculture fema, homes are just bought out, if they are some ined they are in cases repetitive flooded homes just doesn't make sense to continue to pay for the 92ed homes and makes more sense to have the folks move out. in the tool chest you can do, home necessary many cases are static and you can't have to look you at other solutions. host: brooklyn, new york, this is peter. hi. caller: hi, guys, thanks for taking my call. i work in the insurance industry. a lot of witness to evolution in the industry. ne recent thing i noticed was
after 9/11, the government stepped in and insured terrorism over certain amount and so over last probably -- commercial sector and private sector or personal line sector making now.d profits right i feel like they need to be forced back into the flood and inserted in the way that terrorism insurance tree, is what it is called, where the accepts certain limit of liability for every event and they can hoist that regulation. guest: as you know, private insurers were part of the flood they nce years ago, exited. efforts in congress, such as ross and s congresswoman caster offered to open the door.
the house financial services committee tries to open that door a bit. i agree that using a model like risk insurance or price used for nuclear power plants, there are models out there. ut then the federal -- didn't exist. provides inc number type of assistant. come in and separate different types of disasters or hould we come in and offer comprehensive all-hazard approach to two engines. i had about havi -- federal program, the injury and leave the high risk folks in the federal the ideas ich one of behind insurance you have moderate of risk, low,
and high risk. if you cherry pick low risk and in, the e high risk solvency of the program is going to be a disaster, whereas you continue to have private companies reaping likely many risk s by having low portfolios and so i just go back our ay again, i think approach in looking at all hazards type of approach may make more sense. hurricane katrina we had a ough time determining what damages were aircrafts tributable to wind and storm water.nd private insurance companies were fighting with flood insurance rogram and if you have all hazards type policy, it is cleaner in terms of response of liability. host: one more call from mississippi, carol, go ahead. from mississippi, go ahead, please. caller: yes, my question, sir, i used to work for the corps down in new orleans when that took place.
i know labor was old, i know were ine 27 floods that that area, even mississippi, but ome area never been replaced correctly. almost , the corps is bigger than the federal government when you vote on that stuff. the key is, some people live on that area. i studied history going back to th century before america ecame a nation, only 241 nation, so this is nothing new. people living -- it happened at the same time, that have to say. eep the good work up, move on and move forward. guest: thank you, neighbor. thanks for the call. you know, it is accurate you have certain areas that are very protect and so you
have areas where folks want to cases, they n many could be sitting ducks. all is why you have to use the tools in the tool chest. cases, corps of engineers is responsible for. you have zoning ordinances and state, g standard, a perish, county or other nonfederal units of government are responsible for. entities, federal government, state and local governments, need to work tools and in the some cases it may not make sense to develop some areas or if you tell developed, the developer or the property owner, look, if you develop going to be liability for any and it is very difficult or to build responsible in some areas that are vulnerable and you wouldn't want flooding ineople to
disasters we're seeing now in texas and florida and other areas. you go, ore we let teve scalise was injuried in that accident. guest: steve is a fighter and he an answer, no for what could have been his fate. we have been on the phone a few times and he sounds fantastic, sounds incredibly strong and high.s are all he wants to do is talk about legislation and moving the country forward. the decision is up to the doctors, but if it were up he got , the week after shot, he would have been back. it was very serious injury and taking the advice of trs that are managing his care right now and -- no sense of his return? guest: not yet, but again, steve odds and be back before most of us would. garret presentative
graves of louisiana, here to alk about threats to coastal areas, thank you for your time. we'll have open phones until the end of this program. democrats.00 for 202-748-8001 for republicans. independents. we'll take those when we come back. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. a 1979, c-span was created as public service by america's cable television companies and to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> during this morning's "washington journal," we're capitals tour 0 for the c-span bus. eastern to :00 a.m. learn more about our plan