|Trump proposes sweeping rewrite of environmental regulations|
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Trump proposes sweeping rewrite of environmental regulations - WND
Described as his biggest deregulatory move to date, President Trump on Thursday announced a sweeping rewrite of regulations to carry out the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act that will slash the time and paperwork required to get approval for bridges, highways and other projects.
"I've been talking about it for a long time. The builders are not happy, nobody's happy," Trump said at a news conference in the White House's Roosevelt Room.
His proposal would limit environmental assessments of new projects to no more than a year and the more comprehensive environmental-impact statement to two years.
"We're going to have very strong regulation, but it's going to go very quickly," said Trump.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Trump's proposal – which will be open for public comment for 60 days – is the biggest deregulatory step he has taken so far.
The 1970 NEPA requires the federal government to take environmental changes into account when building or funding projects such as airports and military bases. The Trump administration has argued that regulations haven't been updated since the late 1970s.
Trump noted that infrastructure projects have been delayed endlessly by the requirement that they receive permission from numerous federal departments.
The new policy, he said, dubbed "One Federal Decision," requires agencies "to work closely together to promptly deliver one decision."
It took just four years, he pointed out, to build the Golden Gate Bridge, five years to build the Hoover Dam and less than one year to build the Empire State Building.
"Yet, today, it can take more than 10 years just to get a permit to build a simple road," he said.
And it's unusual to obtain such a permit, Trump added.
"It's big government at its absolute worst," he said. "And other countries look at us and they can't believe it."
The proposal was praised by U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donahue, who pointed out it often takes more time to get projects approved than to build them.
"Reducing delays and uncertainties associated with infrastructure investment and related projects will allow businesses to plan and invest with confidence while enhancing economic productivity and supporting more and better-paying jobs throughout the country," Donohue said.
Democrats, however, charge the proposal threatens communities, the Washington Times reported
"By directing federal agencies to disregard long-term and cumulative impacts of projects, this proposal takes a sledgehammer to decades of legal precedence and puts our communities at risk," said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.
But administration officials, the Washington Times reported, argue delays have allowed the nation's infrastructure to crumble.
At the news conference, Bernhardt said it's "a big step forward for the American people and common sense."
A reporter, noting the subject is the environment, asked Trump if he regarded "global warming" as a "hoax."
"No, no, not at all," he replied. "Nothing is a hoax about that. It's a very serious subject. I want clean air. I want clean water. I want the cleanest air. I want the cleanest water. The environment's very important to me."
But he said jobs are also important.
"I don't want to close up our industry because somebody said, you know, you have to go with wind, or you have to go with something else that's not going to be able to have the capacity to do what we have to do," Trump said.
"We have the best employment numbers we've ever had. We have the best unemployment numbers we've ever had. So that's very important."
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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