What we learned about the Texas drought, with Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, has been criticized for claiming that the drought in Texas is “the worst drought in 50 years.”

But according to a report from the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDC), the state’s drought actually began more than a decade ago.

Ryan’s statement has been challenged in the wake of a report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which found that Texas’ drought started in 2001, while Ryan claimed that it started “two years ago.”

The drought in 2013, however, was even worse, and Ryan’s claim is not supported by the USDA’s data.

Ryan was responding to a question on the drought from Representative John Culberson (R-TX), who was asked whether he would continue to support Ryan’s budget, which would cut environmental protection services to the states.

“No, I would not, no, I won’t,” Ryan replied.

Culbarson then pointed out that Ryan had claimed that the states “were the first in the nation” to experience a drought in 2018, while in fact, it was “the second in the U;s history.”

The USDA’s National Deregulation Center, meanwhile, released a report in August that found that drought-related spending increased by nearly $2 billion in 2019, but that it was offset by cuts in environmental protection spending.

The NDC report, which was released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the U,s National Dredging Program, noted that Texas was the first state in the country to experience an “epidemic of extreme drought,” and that it “is currently the second-worst drought in its history.”

Read more here.

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