Energy & Environment

Government Watchdog Report Says Trump Admin Should Respond To Climate Risks

The studies reviewed for the report identified risks that could be of particular concern in Texas

A man walks through floodwaters after surveying his property in Rockport, which was hit by Hurricane Harvey, on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017.

An internal government report said the Trump Administration should respond to the economic risks of a changing climate.

The report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said the government is facing “significant” climate risks. Over the last decade, extreme weather and fires have cost the federal government more than $350 billion. That’s according to the president’s own budget proposal. The GAO said climate-related costs are likely to rise.

The studies reviewed for the report identified risks that could be of particular concern in Texas.

“One of the studies estimated that from 2020 through 2039, between $4 billion and $6 billion in annual coastal property damages from sea level rise and more frequent and intense storms,” said Alfredo Gomez, Director of Natural Resources and Environment at the GAO.

The report said the president’s executive office should use this information to take what Gomez calls “initial steps” to respond.

“These responses could be as simple as identifying and prioritizing and guiding federal investments to ensure that there is resilience against future disasters,” Gomez said.

Follow-up reports on the issue are planned. The GAO noted that neither the White House nor the Environmental Protection Agency offered to comment on the report’s findings.

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Travis Bubenik

Travis Bubenik

Energy & Environment Reporter

Travis Bubenik reports on the tangled intersections of energy and the environment in Houston and across Texas. A Houston native and proud Longhorn, he returned to the Bayou City after serving as the Morning Edition Host & Reporter for Marfa Public Radio in Far West Texas. Bubenik was previously the...

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