WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) authored this op-ed, originally published in the Daily Comet. Below are key excerpts from the piece, which outlines the need to keep the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) affordable and accessible to Louisianians and all Americans.
“Like many coastal states, Louisiana sometimes has floods, which is why roughly 500,000 Louisianians depend on the National Flood Insurance Program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to protect them from these natural disasters.
“But now FEMA is implementing a new plan that will price its flood insurance well beyond the means of most Louisianians and other Americans.”
. . .
“FEMA’s madness—called Risk Rating 2.0—would enact the biggest change in history to how the NFIP calculates flood insurance premiums.
“According to FEMA’s own estimates, Risk Rating 2.0 would lead to higher insurance rates for roughly 80% of Louisianians who depend on the NFIP. What good is flood insurance if no one can afford it?
“These new, higher rates started Oct. 1 for new NFIP policies and will take effect for existing policyholders on April 1, 2022.
“FEMA’s timing in rolling out its plan is terrible. This May, historic rainfall caused widespread flooding in southern Louisiana, hurting areas that Hurricanes Laura and Delta already damaged. More than 12 inches of rain fell on Lake Charles alone. Thousands of homes and businesses lost power.
“Just weeks ago, Nicholas came right on the heels of Hurricane Ida, soaking parts of southeastern Louisiana with up to a foot of rain. More than half of our state was under a flood alert. Hurricane season isn’t even over yet. Now is not the time to gut the NFIP like a fish.”
. . .
“It’s disgraceful that FEMA is now pushing through Risk Rating 2.0 without congressional approval or public input. FEMA’s process in developing its new edict has been opaque and undemocratic.
“Louisianians and other Americans who choose to be prudent by insuring against the risk of flood deserve a say over such a significant change to their flood insurance.”
. . .
“I hope FEMA will regain its sanity and stop this disastrous plan, or at least give Louisianians and other Americans a say in the matter. Until they do, I’m going to oppose Risk Rating 2.0 like a hound from hell, no matter how much FEMA wants to deny the asininity of the program.”
The op-ed is available here.