Report: In 2012 Feds Spent More on Extreme Weather Cleanup Than on Schools, Roads

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 01:53 PM

View from the front door of a home on Staten Island, post-Sandy (Jim O'Grady/WNYC)

In the wake of our report on the costs to New Jersey Transit of Hurricane Sandy, a national report says extreme weather clean-up cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $100 billion -- or $1,100 per taxpayer.  That's according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental group.

The report tallied the costs of hurricanes -- more than $50 billion alone from 2012 was from Hurricane Sandy -- as well as crop insurance for drought-affected crops, and forest fires. The NRDC says the $96 billion spent on climate change clean-up is the equivalent of one-sixth of the government's discretionary, non-defense spending. And the report says the government spent three times the amount that private insurers spent. 

According to the NRDC, that's more than the budgets of the transportation and education departments.

You can read the full report here.


Comments [1]

Leslie D

It is misleading to describe this as "climate change clean-up." No storm can be attributed to climate change, just like our cold spring cannot be used to refute it or the less-than-expected hurricane seasons the past 3 years (Sandy notwithstanding). This is sloppy, biased journalism.

May. 15 2013 01:16 AM

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