Despite the application of dubious new environmental standards that will cut across numerous executive agencies, the Bidens are with a straight face arguing that this will actually reduce regulations.
There they go again.
The they is Team Biden and the again is another round of massive regulatory increases that will cost millions of blue-collar jobs and prevent any new energy pipelines and probably new utilities from being built, and virtually stop the construction of new or extended bridges, highways, and tunnels.
The move will significantly raise environmental reviews of all these infrastructure-type projects, completely reversing one of President Trumps best policies, which streamlined National Environmental Policy Act permits and timetables.
This issue is dear to my heart because Mr. Trumps infrastructure reforms were developed in the national economic council, where I worked closely with Andrew Olmem and Francis Brooke.
It used to take seven, 10, or even 15 years to get a new building permit through the executive branch. Mr. Trump brought that down to one to two years and took out the excessive, unscientific, radical enviro approval layers.
One of the wonderful things about this new Biden review is that despite the application of dubious new environmental standards that will cut across numerous executive agencies, and therefore cause a huge stall in project decisions, the Bidens are with a straight face arguing that this will actually reduce regulations.
Restoring these basic community safeguards will provide regulatory certainty, reduce conflict, and help ensure projects get built right the first time, according to the White House council on environmental quality chairwoman, Brenda Mallory.
Notice, she didnt say projects would get built on time: She said projects would get built right the first timewhich could mean taking forever, or maybe even never happening.
By the way, this executive order makes a mockery of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed with Republican votes last fall. Only about 10 percent of the $1.2 trillion would've gone to bridges, roads, and tunnels anyway, but the Biden executive overreach could shrink those projects to nothing.
Here are a few of the add-ons that are supposed to result in less red tape. First of all, their new enviro impact statement will include a so-called cumulative impact on existing or new projects. Cumulative: That could go back a century or even forward a century. And there's no way to measure it.
This is the reappearance of the radical-left climate activist idea of the social cost of carbon: back a century, forward a century, upstream producers and/or downstream users.
You think anybody could figure that out? Theyre just ginning up a high social carbon cost that will lead them to reject any new infrastructure projects. Incidentally, beside the word cumulative, these new regs that are supposed to cut red tapemore regs = less red tape, got it?will also cover direct and indirect impacts on the environment. These new enviro reviews include the endangered species act, the clean water act, and the clean air act, along with the enviro impact.
This makes a mockery of the infrastructure legislation that came up with the one federal decision policy, because all these impacts from carbon, birdsremember the lesser male prairie chicken endangered species flap that endangered the entire Permian Basin oil and gas reservoir?you add all this up (and for heavens sakes we mustnt forget the EPA, which is chock full of Biden radicals) and youll need sign-offs for water and air. The federal highway administration inside the transportation department, which is supposed to make these decisions, will never be able to make them because all these project reviews cover so many agencies that it will take forever.
Let us add, however, that the new rules specify that any new projectsand that includes, lets say, a widening of a clogged highway somewhere in a high-growth red state, or any construction expansion that was so-called unplanned, whatever that meanswill be put at the bottom of the administrators pile.
Im not making this up: It is specified in the fine print.
This being the Bidens, there also will be special attention to so-called disadvantaged communities and under-represented groups. Their new rule supposedly reconnects these communities and groups, but if you cant build a new highway or bridge or road, or a utility for that matter, how can you connect them? Especially with any new construction being put at the bottom of the pile in the administrators inbox.
Going to the top of the pile of this infamous inbox are projects that would help electric vehicles, charging stations, and renewable energy generation. Someone has to help me here, because my free-speech hero, Elon Musk, and his new electric vehicles would presumably ride on new highways.
Yet the federal highway administration wont build a new highway because it would be new and would have too many environmental problems, cumulatively.
At some point, somebodys going to take this new Biden executive order to the federal courts and quite possibly the Supremes, because the new rules are a rewrite of the infrastructure law just passed in Congressand thats not the role of regulators.
Finally, because all the Biden lefty greenies are once again driving policy, it makes a mockery not only of the just-passed infrastructure billthat wasnt very good anywayand it tells you that the Biden war against fossil fuels is alive and well.
Pipelines will not pass the new review process. Infrastructure for drilling or mining projectsto, lets say, extract minerals like nickel, copper, and lithium to go into batterieswill be stopped.
The net-net of all this is that millions of hard-hat, blue-collar and related service jobs will be lost. The middle class and those right below it will suffer enormously as a result of the radical enviros in the Biden administration.
Trust me: When it comes to a new project, more review areas covering more federal agencies will not reduce regulation, but will increase it enormously. Mr. Bidens falsehoods cant change that. Heres the good news: The cavalry is coming.