Regulatory Reform

The White House is Restoring Freedom to Local Governments

In the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, he has made a great impact on being able to speed up infrastructure projects through executive order.

In some cases, projects that should haven taken a year for study and execution have now been strung out over decades due to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corp of Engineers reviews, studies and other red tape.

The red tape created at the federal and state level account for billions of dollars of losses for taxpayers and drive up the costs of most infrastructure projects. Every president for the last 40 years has overlooked the problems facing regulatory red tape placed around local governments until President Trump.

In January 2017, the members of the American City County Exchange (ACCE), a division of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), representing city and county elected officials in 50 states, sent an urgent petition to the president.

ACCE revealed the bureaucratic entanglements that made infrastructure projects on average last a decade or more and included the increased cost of the projects. ACCE’s report stated that cities and counties are suffocating under the weight of past presidential executive orders, federal regulations, and unfunded mandates.

Executive Order 13766 was signed by President Trump on January 24, 2017, which establishes a new system to fast-track the construction of infrastructure projects.

While the most tangible result of this executive order was the fast track of Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline. The ability of these projects to move forward increases the likelihood of more jobs in many communities. This executive order may prove to be the type of economic stimulus local communities need to get road and utility projects off the ground and to increase capacity of infrastructure through electric lines, sewer and water lines and of vehicles on roads and get goods and services moving in an efficient manner.

The first 100 days of President Trump has shown the nation success is not always what is passed into law but rather what can be restored. With executive order 13766, freedom was restored to local governments.

It is vital for state governments to follow the example of the president in streamlining reviews and approvals for projects. This helps creates uniformity between all three levels of government. Local governments alone cannot undertake major infrastructure and utility projects without the assistance of the federal and state governments.

Federal reviews and approvals have had a strong hold on local governments for decades; President Trump has taken the steps forward to prevent this from hurting local communities.


In Depth: Regulatory Reform

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that “the sum of good government” was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry.” Sadly, governments – federal, state and local – …

+ Regulatory Reform In Depth