USA Today reports that President Donald Trump will propose changes to the nation’s environmental law to allow more major construction projects to begin. According to the report, critics say the changes threaten to worsen climate change.
The plan would ease environmental rules for construction projects that do not have significant funding. It would also shorten the length of federal reviews of these projects, and would allow regulators to assess the “cumulative” effects of a project on climate change, according to the article.
According to the New York Times, changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act have been “long sought” by the oil and gas industry, whose members call the move long overdue. However, critics say the changes will “enable supporters of construction projects to discount their impact on climate change” when seeking government permits, according to USA Today.
The article reported that Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, applauded the proposed changes, saying "our hope is that these improvements will modernize infrastructure permitting" for projects like highways, bridges, power lines, and cell towers.