Commentary

National environmental expert: Why Trump’s infrastructure plan is doomed to failure

If you’re trying to get your arms around President Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan, be sure to check out the assessment provided by Dr. Joe Romm at Think Progress. Romm calls the plan “a whole lot of waste, just like his border wall.”

This is from Romm’s post:

“The President’s long-awaited $1.5 trillion plan rolled out on Monday had already been widely criticized for including a mere $200 billion in actual federal money — and a lot of wishful thinking about leveraging vast amounts of state and local revenue.

But the plan’s proposal to gut the normal environmental review process and quickly push through projects without adequate vetting is disastrous. Worsening deluges, sea level rise, extended droughts, and ever hotter temperatures will test even the most carefully designed projects. But it will likely ruin the least carefully designed ones.

‘The impact of not considering climate change when planning infrastructure means you end up building the wrong thing, in the wrong place, to the wrong standards,’ as urban planning and climate expert Michael Kuby told the New York Times. ‘That’s a whole lot of waste.’

Also, failing to consider climate change could put lives at risk if infrastructure isn’t designed to handle the kind of super-storms scientists say we’ll see more of in the future.

A 277-page peer-reviewed report from Trump’s own Environmental Protection Agency found that by 2100, the cumulative cost of adapting just the nation’s roads to climate change would be $230 billion. That’s for the business-as-usual emissions scenario for carbon pollution that Trump’s pro-pollution policies would result in.”

The post goes on to explain how the plan would sidestep or eliminate several vital environmental rules and procedures, including important parts of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Air Act and turn environmental reviews over to the states. Here’s the conclusion:

“So the federal government could simply hand over environmental review to any state.

But the fact that Trump and much of the staff of the White House and the federal agencies deny climate science — as do the governors of key states like Florida — means that climate impacts are unlikely to be part of any serious review.

Therefore, if anything like this plan were passed, it could wreak untold environmental havoc on the country — all in the name of quickly building a lot of expensive infrastructure that is doomed to fail.”

In other words, like just about everything else he’s ever done, Trump’s plan is all show and little substance. What a surprise.

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