Trump to give agencies power to fast-track big infrastructure projects, sources say

By Valerie Volcovici and Alexandra Alper WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.

Reuters June 05, 2020 01:05:31 IST
Trump to give agencies power to fast-track big infrastructure projects, sources say

Trump to give agencies power to fasttrack big infrastructure projects sources say

By Valerie Volcovici and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday is expected to sign an executive order that would give federal agencies emergency powers to fast-track major energy and other infrastructure projects by overriding environmental permitting requirements, two sources familiar with the proposal said.

The order is billed as a way to "support and accelerate" the economic recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and improve U.S. energy and other infrastructure, according to bullet points summarizing the order seen by Reuters.

It calls for public works and highway projects as well as energy projects like pipelines and terminals to be expedited, and instructs the Interior, Agriculture and Defense Departments to accelerate projects on federal lands.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters earlier on Thursday that Trump would sign an order related to permitting for energy and other projects in the afternoon, but did not give details.

Trump has been a vocal advocate of fossil fuels as president and has sought to roll back regulations slowing their development and reduce state powers to block projects for environmental reasons.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a bedrock environmental regulation that creates time-consuming environmental reviews and public feedback requirements for major infrastructure projects.

The proposal is currently going through a public comment and review period.

Industry groups praised the order. The National Mining Association said it will "support increased use of the vast domestic mineral reserves we have right here at home."

Critics said Trump's order comes at the expense of African American and other minority communities that tend to live in communities directly affected by major energy infrastructure.

"Gutting NEPA takes away one of the few tools communities of color have to protect themselves and make their voices heard on federal decisions impacting them," said Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva, chair of the House natural resources committee.

Christy Goldfuss, a senior vice president at the Center for American Progress said letting agencies "ram through" fossil fuel projects will harm "the very same communities that are dying at higher rates from COVID-19 and police violence."

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Richard Valdmanis, Chris Reese, Paul Simao and Marguerita Choy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.