President Donald Trump announced that his administration plans to review the procedure for issuing permits for the creation and development of infrastructure facilities, such as oil pipelines and highways. This, according to critics, will lead to such projects being implemented without taking into account public opinion.
“This possibility was not anticipated,” Trump said, speaking at the Atlanta airport on Wednesday. According to the President, “terrible delays” due to compliance with environmental regulations cost the American economy trillions of dollars.
According to the Voice of America correspondent at the White House, Trump announced a reform of the process for reviewing applications for infrastructure projects in accordance with the national environmental policy act (NEPA), which was adopted in 1969. This, according to the President, will reduce the implementation time of significant projects, including the construction of highways, from 20 to two years or less.
“You will no longer devote your entire life to implementing a project that will not be approved in the end,” Trump said of the upcoming changes in the decision – making process – It will be decided very quickly – “Yes” or “no” after studying the issue.”
Speaking at the Hapeville airport, Trump talked about how he felt frustrated with the “mountains of red tape” during the decades when the President worked in real estate. “Years and years of litigation” in the approval process, similar to the maze, caused severe delays in the implementation of his projects and those of other developers, the President said.
For the second day in a row, Trump deviated from the text of his speech to attack Joe Biden – the presumptive Democratic nominee for the upcoming presidential election.
“Our former Vice President opposes all of our permitting reforms,” Trump said.
The current actions of the Republican President concerning the law can be overturned by a simple majority of votes in Congress and a presidential signature – the Democrats, if they win the November election, will almost certainly do just that.
According to several opinion polls, Biden has a significant advantage over Trump. According to some experts, Democrats in November will be able to get enough seats in the Senate to regain control of both chambers in Congress.
“Trump is again selling out and silencing communities in favor of giant corporate environmental pollutants,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who unsuccessfully tried to become the democratic candidate for the presidential election this year.
More than 100 democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the administration last week opposing changes to NEPA.
“The NEPA law was created to give a voice to those who are often denied the right to vote, it has successfully allowed affected populations to protest projects that negatively affect water quality, air quality, economic prosperity, and overall health and safety,” the lawmakers added.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) on Wednesday welcomed the President’s statement.
“In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to strengthen manufacturing capabilities and operations in the United States. Onshore production requires, first of all, the creation of basic infrastructure. Obtaining permits for these purposes can take years,” said Rachel Jones, NAM’s Vice President of energy and resource policy.
Thanks to the reforms announced by the White House, existing powers will be used to reduce the time needed to obtain permits and create conditions to encourage job creation and investment in America, the Association’s Vice President added.