President Trump decided he is getting rid of a 51-year-old environmental regulation that has hindered infrastructure development. We’ve been promised “Infrastructure Week” since 2009 and we finally got it at a UPS distribution facility in Georgia yesterday. That’s where the President made his announcement.
The New York Times, naturally, claimed that this regulatory rollback would destroy the planet, increase pollution, and be detrimental to the future. It was ridiculous.
Let me explain this one to you in the real world.
I live half a mile from I-75 in Macon, Georgia. For the last several years, the volume of 18-wheeler traffic has gone up so much that traffic, even during the pandemic, has been affected. The Georgia Department of Transportation has a novel project it wants to build — a designated, separate and segregated lane of traffic for 18-wheelers that would run from Macon, GA to Atlanta, GA, which is one of the most congested bits of interstate now in the Southeast.
That area is important because it combined the regional distribution hubs in Middle Georgia with Two Dead Mayors International Airport in Atlanta. It would free up massive capacity on I-75, keep cars from idling on the roads, and overall help the environment by keeping traffic moving instead of stagnant and burning fuel on the road all day.
But environmentalists have used this 51-year-old regulation based on the National Environmental Policy Act to stymie the effort. Environmental reviews, red tape, and more have driven up the cost and delayed a project that actually will benefit commerce and the environment.
The President made the right call. The hysterics are wrong on this. But again, it is hard to get a fair hearing on this stuff these days when everyone is so tribal.