Skip to content

Donald Trump seeks to streamline infrastructure permitting

February 10, 2018

  One issue that I believe many people on the right and on the left agree on is the fact that our infrastructure is old and needs upgrading. But still we have been haggling over this issue for years, and I believe the reason is because the left and the right differ on the role the Federal government should play in the finding of the infrastructure.

  Personally, I might differ here with conservatives, I believe the Federal government does have a role in infrastructure and I believe Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (through the Post roads clause) grants the Federal government some authority when it comes to allocating monies to build infrastructure. That is not to say the States do not also have a responsibility but I believe in this case there is a shared responsibility.

  Although it has been largely ignored since his election Donald Trump did make infrastructure spending a major part of his platform, and in August of last year the President signed an Executive Order on infrastructure spending seeking to streamline the process so reviews on infrastructure projects would be cut from roughly 10 years down to 2 years.

  Now, according to this article, Donald Trump has issued a draft memo to 17 agencies which would cut some of the red tape and make good on this promise. Here is more:

The White House is circulating a draft memo to more than a dozen federal agencies that would dramatically speed up the time it takes to secure environmental permits for infrastructure projects, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.

The draft memorandum of understanding, which is being reviewed by 17 federal agencies and is expected to be finalized soon, would help implement an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in August that set a goal of completing the environmental review process for major infrastructure projects within two years.

Faster permitting is expected to be one element of the infrastructure plan the White House is slated to unveil on Monday, though the inter-agency memorandum of understanding is not expected to be finalized in time for this week’s rollout.

In order to more quickly green-light proposed bridges, pipelines and roads, the Trump administration — led by the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality — has been working behind the scenes for weeks to establish a more streamlined process among the dozens of federal agencies that often have to weigh in before a project can move forward.

Among the changes: requiring that agencies conduct their individual reviews concurrently, rather than sequentially.

To achieve the two-year goal, the memorandum, a draft of which was viewed by POLITICO, says agencies will “commit to cooperate, communicate, share information, and resolve conflicts that could prevent meeting milestones.”

  On the surface it would seem as though this should have bipartisan support, after all the left has been calling for infrastructure spending for years, but the one thing the “resist” movement has taught us is that if Donald Trump is for it they are against it and it does not seem to matter what the issue is–the party of no will oppose it for opposition’s sake–and I expect this to be no different.

  But how can the left justify opposing spending money on infrastructure after calling for it during the 8 years of Barack Obama’s Presidency? I think it is fairly simple: they will claim the evil, greedy capitalist is going about it the wrong way. The left will claim Donald Trump is forsaking the environment at the behest of other evil, greedy capitalists while refusing to admit he is simply trying to streamline the environmental review process.

  Donald Trump is hoping to make an announcement about this on Monday and it will be interesting to see if my theory plays out–it should not take long to find out.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: