Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Designed to Streamline Infrastructure Permitting

Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Designed to Streamline Infrastructure Permitting

Trump's now infamous press conference that quickly went off the rails was not planned to be about the events of Charlottesville - it was supposed to be about an executive order on infrastructure planning that Trump signed on Tuesday afternoon.

Mother Jones reports that before this executive order, federal agencies typically relied on historical data to predict if infrastructure was vulnerable to flooding.

"We've identified more than two dozen policies and rules that will streamline project delivery and environmental permitting", Chao said. "This is yet another outrageous example of Trump's insistence on putting corporate interests ahead of people's health and safety", said Alex Taurel, deputy legislative director with the League of Conservation Voters, a political advocacy group. "We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel".

The new policy, which also aims to cut back on duplicative requests for information and late-stage changes in the approval process, was unveiled at Trump Tower in New York City.

In January, the Trump administration released a 50-item list of infrastructure priorities that included provisions for transmission expansion, wind and energy storage, among other power sector projects, but has been slow to follow up until now.

"One agency can stall a project for many, many years, and even decades", Trump said.

The Obama administration said the more stringent standards were necessary because of sea level rise associated with climate change.

And Jessica Grannis, of the Georgetown Climate Centre, told ABC News: "What this order will do is ensure that we will waste more taxpayer money because federal agencies will no longer have to consider long-term flood risks to federally funded infrastructure projects". That order, which was still being implemented through regulations, would have caused some federal projects to be moved to different areas, built to higher standards or canceled altogether.

But a White House spokesperson emphasized that state and local agencies could still use tougher project standards if they choose.

Industry groups, including the National Association of Home Builders and Associated General Contractors of America had called on the Trump administration to strike down the Obama floodplain order.

It took 11 months to build.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to remake the way the federal government handles infrastructure projects, casting himself as a real estate developer who knows what it takes to get a building project done. He last spoke about his plan back in June, when he gave a speech in OH as part of infrastructure week. Asked whether infrastructure could be done this year given the items ahead of it, Cohn said, "We hope it's this year".

"That's why I just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation's badly broken infrastructure permitting process".

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