Infrastructure Lags from Paltry Funding, Not Environmental Review
WASHINGTON – With President Trump expected to tout an infrastructure plan in his State of the Union address, Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Congress in written testimony today it is systematic underfunding of transportation, sewer and drinking water improvements that hold up American infrastructure projects.
“The poor state of our infrastructure is not because of environmental reviews or permitting,” Slesinger wrote, “Our problem is cash. The solution is the political will to appropriate the needed dollars. Environmental reviews and permitting are scapegoats.”
Even recent congressional changes to the environmental review process, Slesinger notes, have created new conflicts, sown confusion and delayed projects.
He says the leaked White House infrastructure proposal, “would repeal critical clean air, clean water and endangered species protections” and further complicate and delay building.
Slesinger will appear tomorrow morning before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
Slesinger’s written testimony is here.
# # #
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.