Transportation Infrastructure and Environmental Regulation

It is Infrastructure Week (May 15-19, 2017) and across America, there are events, as well as media coverage and education to advocate for infrastructure and its importance to the progression of this nation. It is our responsibility as citizens to get involved and learn about the policies behind our country’s current development strategies (1).

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EPA commences withdrawal of the WOTUS Rule

Last Wednesday May 3, 2017, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) provided a statement regarding the beginning of the withdrawal of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Several scientific societies collaborated in writing a letter to President Trump explaining the importance of the WOTUS rule and protecting the country’s wetlands. The EPA has delivered a draft to the Office of Management and Budget for withdrawing the WOTUS rule.

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Trump Signs Executive Order Dismantling Obama Environmental Regulations

Tom Steyer, president of NextGen Climate, said in a statement that Trump’s actions are “an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American.” Concluding “Trump is deliberately destroying programs that create jobs and safeguards that protect our air and water, all for the sake of allowing corporate polluters to profit at our expense.”

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Our New EPA Administrator: Scott Pruitt

On Friday February 17, 2017 the senate confirmed President Trump’s nomination, Scott Pruitt, as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Born in Kentucky, Edward Scott Pruitt began his career in 1998 as a member of the Oklahoma Senate. During his time he held the position as majority whip from 2001-2003. He also served as Republican assistant floor leader until his departure in 2006 to run an unsuccessful lieutenant governor campaign. Then in 2010 he was elected attorney general of Oklahoma. But it was during his tenure as Oklahoma’s AG that has received the most scrutiny.

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As the doomsday clock moves towards midnight, where does Rex Tillerson, the new Secretary of State, stand on climate change?

Before his nomination for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was the head of Exxon Mobil, “the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company,” according to its website. In the past, Exxon Mobil has been accused of covering up data that showed the risks of climate change, which has raised concerns among environmentalists who believe that Secretary Tillerson will not work towards mitigating the effects of climate change. Exxon Mobil has denied the allegations.

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