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Government Meddling

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Bryan K. Mignone isn't telling the whole story when he claims that economically harmful climate-change-mitigation policies are necessary as an insurance against stronger hurricanes, a "likely" consequence of so-called global warming ("Insuring the climate," Commentary, Monday).

In fact, one of the major reasons hurricanes are so destructive is the federal government's misguided flood insurance program, which subsidizes the risk Americans take when they choose to live in coastal areas vulnerable to storm surges and flooding.

By using taxpayer money to make it less risky to live in the path of a hurricane, the flood insurance program encourages Americans to live in dangerous areas, which, in turn, increases the damage wrought by extreme weather.

The federal flood insurance program is a great example of how government meddling in the market leads to unexpected, unwelcome results. Americans should keep this in mind when their representatives in Washington take up climate legislation that would have the federal government seize the reins of energy production in the United States.


Energy policy analyst

Competitive Enterprise Institute