Originally published here
WASHINGTON — Today, the Trump Administration unveiled an infrastructure proposal that would substantially weaken the nation’s environmental safeguards. Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation, made the following comment in response:
“America is long, long overdue for smart, forward-thinking infrastructure investments, but the administration’s proposal badly misses the mark and reads more like a strategy to gut clean air, water, and wildlife protections, while silencing local voices, than a serious effort to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
“Congress should set the proposal aside and start fresh on a visionary, bipartisan plan that not only advances 21st century transportation solutions, but also ensures access to clean water for all Americans, bolsters our country’s outdoor economy, and better prepares communities for the extreme weather that has been exacerbated by a warming world. A healthy future demands that infrastructure priorities be advanced in ways that reduce air and water pollution, and help increase wildlife populations. Further, any serious proposal will use the best available science for all decision-making, preclude development in places at-risk from floods, storms, or fires, and invest in the remarkable natural defenses that protect our communities — from wetlands and healthy forests to dunes and living shorelines.
“It is categorically false to suggest that we must sacrifice public health standards and basic environmental protections in order to build critical infrastructure projects efficiently — Americans want and deserve both. We also must not allow the public good to be compromised through unwise privatization of our public works. There’s a clear, clean, bipartisan path forward here, and if there’s the political will, we stand ready to work with Congress and the White House on just such an effort.”