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Congress considers hurricane bill

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Steve Chiotakis: Hurricane season officially begins on this first day of June. The national hurricane center is predicting nine to 14 named storms. Seven of those could be hurricanes. But there's also a storm brewing in the halls of Congress about the government's role in protecting vulnerable coastal communities. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, here's Sam Eaton.


Sam Eaton: Florida representative Ron Klein has reintroduced a bill that would stabilize rising insurance premiums in coastal areas. The bill would create a federal catastrophe fund that would kick in in the event of a major disaster like Katrina.

But Ed Hopkins with the Sierra Club says the program would essentially subsidize insurance premiums in the riskiest places.

Ed Hopkins: Insurance costs have gone up greatly in coastal regions and there's a reason for that.

Insurers think coastal properties have simply become too risky. Hopkins is part of a coalition of environmentalists and conservatives opposing the bill. Instead, they're backing an alternative proposal that would use $200 million in FEMA funds to reinforce existing homes to withstand stronger hurricanes.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.

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