WASHINGTON (February 12, 2017)—President Donald Trump released his administration’s outline for an infrastructure package today. Trump’s plan raises serious concerns because it would suppress environmental reviews of new infrastructure projects, and it neglects to make sufficient investments in projects that hasten the country’s transition to clean energy and make communities more resilient to climate change, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is a statement by UCS President Ken Kimmell.
“Today, I reviewed the White House’s 55-page infrastructure plan. Here are some words that don’t appear anywhere in the document: ‘climate change,’ ‘renewable energy,’ ‘modern electric grid,’ ‘resilience,’ and ‘adaptation.’
“This is a plan to shore up the infrastructure of the past, rather than invest in what we need for the future, such as transmission lines that connect the country’s plentiful wind and solar energy to the population centers where it’s needed, a modern electric grid to accommodate more renewables, and energy storage projects to set us up for a widescale roll out of this technology.
“Meanwhile, local leaders around the country are begging for help because they need to make their communities more resilient to hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other extreme events that climate change is making worse. This proposal doesn’t begin to respond to the scale of assistance local communities need to cope with these mounting impacts—it merely shifts the burden of rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure onto state and local budgets which are already strapped.
“The plan is very short on federal dollars, and very long on dramatically scaling back environmental review, public participation and consultation so that projects can be jammed through. Congress should work in good faith on comprehensive infrastructure legislation that is based on science, reflects the reality of climate change, maintains public review safeguards, and benefits all Americans, including our most vulnerable communities, for the long-term.”
For more on the UCS infrastructure principles, please see: https://blog.ucsusa.org/rob-cowin/infrastructure-in-the-trump-congress-we-must-build-for-the-future-not-the-past