Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump disbands infrastructure council that never met

Trump disbands infrastructure council that never met

In his latest executive order, President Trump is expected to tell the federal government to ignore the best science out there on sea-level rise and flooding and build infrastructure projects in risky, flood-prone areas anyway.

"I stand by my man - both of them", Chao reportedly said Tuesday.

"For far too long, critical projects have been delayed by duplicative permitting and environmental requirements which added time and unnecessary expenses to much needed projects", Chao said in a statement.

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. "This is a national policy that safeguards infrastructure.so why wouldn't we make these investments with an eye toward the future?"

"This is climate science denial at its most risky, as Trump is putting vulnerable communities, federal employees, and families at risk by throwing out any guarantee that our infrastructure will be safe", Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement ahead of Trump's remarks. One Louisiana Republican in the US House estimated the rule would have increased the cost of a new home in the state by 25% to 30% because most of the state would be classified as a flood plain under federal rules.

Trump is concerned that America's infrastructure has fallen to 12th in the world.

The administration hopes to get a tax overhaul through Congress by Thanksgiving and plans to put an infrastructure bill in the House as soon as a tax measure moves from the House to the Senate, Cohn told reporters in NY on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has ended plans for an Advisory Council on Infrastructure, a White House official told CNN Thursday. It was authorized by Congress in 2015 and implemented by Obama. This means that one federal agency will take the lead in overseeing the environmental review process required to approve permits for projects such as pipelines. A White House spokesperson later clarified that the panel hasn't been meeting its full potential.

But the earlier order had significantly more supporters - engineers, planners and municipal managers, among others, said Laura Lightbody, flood preparedness project director for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Just before engaging in a hostile exchange with reporters over the violence in Charlottesville, President Trump said the current environmental rules governing construction of federal infrastructure projects created delays and costs.

Meanwhile, a number of environmental groups launched legal action against the EPA on Monday over new chemical safety regulations which they allege have been watered down. An updated proposal, included in the President's budget request, relies on a mix of $200 billion in tax credits and direct funds, although only $5 billion was requested for the 2018 budget and the new spending is offset by $95 billion of proposed cuts to highway and transit projects. It would not prohibit state and local agencies from using more stringent standards.

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