President Donald Trump knows that if he wants to win in November, the best way to do so is to get Americans back to work and get the economy rolling again.
In an effort to accomplish that, Trump has already taken action — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not happy about it.
As noted by the Epoch Times, the president signed an executive order on Monday granting emergency powers to government agencies to expedite the permitting process for infrastructure and energy projects.
The White House said that the coronavirus took a heavy toll on the U.S. economy and that the country would face long-term recovery issues if the government did not step in to help.
The Epoch Times reports:
The order aims to expedite transportation infrastructure projects, civil works projects from the Army Corps of Engineers, and infrastructure and other projects on federal land.
According to the June 4 order, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has, in emergency situations, provided flexibility to government agencies in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—a law that environmentalists view as essential in determining the environmental impacts of infrastructure and other projects.
According to the executive order, the CEQ’s regulations “provide that when emergency circumstances make it necessary to take actions with significant environmental impacts without observing the regulations, agencies may consult with CEQ to make alternative arrangements to take such actions.” Such emergencies would include, among others, natural disasters, threats to national defense, “and employment and economic prosperity.”
Pelosi was not happy about fast-tracking a host of infrastructure projects and released a statement saying she was disappointed by the move.
“By using the coronavirus pandemic to justify fast-tracking potentially wasteful, dangerous, or destructive infrastructure programs, the president has proven once again his utter contempt for our laws, for the health of our communities, and for the future of our children,” Pelosi said.
Trump argued that ordering state agencies to jump-start permit acquisition for companies in a range of fields, such as infrastructure and energy, will unleash investments, increase jobs, and get the economy rolling again.
The plan would also play a big roll in calling for bridge and highway construction, public works, and energy projects such as pipelines and LNG terminals to be fast-tracked through the permitting process.
Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, praised Trump’s order and the move.
“As Congress considers what can be done to help the economy recover, funding our nation’s infrastructure should be at the top of the list,” Barrasso said. “Investments in highways and bridges create jobs, reduce costs of goods and services, and grow the economy.”
Rich Nolan, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, also said he supported the move and thought it would play a big roll in getting the economy rolling again.
“Infrastructure does not exist without mining,” he said. “Whether it’s copper for wiring, metallurgical coal required for steel-making, or zinc for galvanization, our transportation, water supply, and energy infrastructure systems simply cannot be built or updated without mined materials.
“Today’s executive order provides an opportunity to jump-start our economic recovery by ensuring that we are rebuilding and modernizing with American-made materials, equipment, and jobs.”
“Now is the time to rebuild the supply chains essential to our infrastructure, national security, and the future health of our economy,” he said.