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Durbin: Weather events merit congressional plan

CHICAGO (AP) — A U.S. senator from Illinois says severe weather events are becoming more frequent, and Congress needs to consider how it plans to pay for disasters.

Sen. Dick Durbin says the economic impact of severe weather is projected to grow in coming years. The Democrat says that means governments at all levels will be paying out more each year in damages.

Durbin made his comments Monday from Lake Michigan's shoreline in Chicago.

He says this summer's drought may cost the federal government as much as $12 billion in agricultural aid. He also notes that Lake Michigan's water level is more than two feet below the long-term average, and low Mississippi River levels could affect barge traffic.

Durbin believes those issues underscore the need to invest in renewable energy and pollution controls.

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