The Congressional Research Service (CRS), at the behest of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, recently released a memorandum critiquing Common Good’s white paper, “Two Years, Not Ten Years: Redesigning Infrastructure Approvals,” that was published in 2015. Separately, Congressman DeFazio published a memorandum criticizing both the Common Good paper and various Trump Administration claims related to infrastructure approvals.
There is no serious disagreement that America’s infrastructure approval process is broken and requires streamlining. In October 2010, President Obama explained the lack of progress in infrastructure projects promised by the 2008 stimulus by declaring that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” The need to expedite the process has been advocated for in reports and policy papers by leaders of both parties, including Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential campaign, by expert observers from all sides, including the Regional Plan Association, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Progressive Policy Institute, a Stanford colloquium of experts (including former top DOT officials from both parties), and by a broad range of industry and environmental experts brought together by Common Good in six public forums.
Since the publication of the Common Good paper, and at the request of the Obama Administration, Common Good has developed model legislative language that creates clear lines of authority for environmental review and permitting decisions, encourages early public participation, and tightens the timeframe for judicial review.
Click here to see our specific responses to the CRS and DeFazio memos.