Re: “Group wants moratorium on flood insurance” (TNT, 3-28).
The federal government has subsidized construction in flood zones for years through programs like the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The proposal by the National Wildlife Federation to implement a moratorium on flood insurance policies near Puget Sound is sound public policy that would benefit both the environment and the government.
Programs like the NFIP have placed a great deal of risk on taxpayers while reinforcing poor behavior. Rather than encouraging risk-based, environmentally sensitive planning and reducing flood risk, programs like the NFIP have served to subsidize unwise construction and the destruction of wetlands. To make matters worse, NFIP currently owes the U.S. Treasury more than $19 billion with no realistic way to pay it back.
The efforts by the NWF to stop irresponsible building on our nation’s coastlines and river banks is a welcome step away from bailing out repetitive-loss properties and a move towards responsible flood mitigation.
(Glans is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute, a nonprofit that promotes free-market solutions to social and economic problems.)