SEEC leadership condemns short-sighted Trump administration decision to waive bedrock environmental laws for infrastructure

Jun 5, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Paul Tonko, Doris Matsui and Gerry Connolly and Vice-Chairs Reps A. Donald McEachin, Chellie Pingree, Matt Cartwright, Mike Quigley and Alan Lowenthal made the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to use emergency powers to waive critical environmental review of infrastructure projects.

“Environmental reviews like those required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are critical tools that help us build smart and sustainably. They make us take time to consider the short-term and long-term impacts of a project—helping us ensure that we fully understand the potential impacts of construction and development on the surrounding environment, and the ecosystems and economies that rely on it. Environmental reviews help us spend taxpayer dollars more wisely in the near term and help us avoid costly environmental damage and cleanups in the future. These reviews also require projects to obtain public input, creating vital space for community voice in projects. This mechanism for public input is especially important for communities of color, who have historically experienced disproportionate disruption from infrastructure projects that destroy, rather than build, up their communities, with little to no real input from them.  

President Trump may pretend like he is cutting ‘red tape,’ but in truth, he is exploiting a crisis to undercut our nation’s bedrock environmental protections and spur ill-considered development that will saddle future generations with expensive boondoggles and irreparable environmental harm.