Shred the red tape if you want to build infrastructure any time in the reasonably near future. That's the argument of Common Good's Philip K. Howard in a weekend article in the New York Daily News. No telling whether Donald Trump got to this in his weekend reading—his critics would have you believe he doesn't have any weekend reading, but this was in one of the New York tabloids he's been known to scan—but if he hasn't he should.
As Howard points out, current laws impose "a jungle of red tape." For example, on the proposal to raise the Bayonne Bridge, which currently blocks the supertankers coming through the enlarged Panama Canal, it includes the following: "a requirement to study historic buildings within a two-mile radius even though the project touched no buildings; notice to Native American tribes around the country to participate even though the project would not be disturbing any new ground; and 47 permits from 19 different agencies. The environmental review for this project — again, a project with virtually no environmental impact — was 20,000 pages, including appendices. Proceeding on an expedited timetable, permits were finally awarded after five years. Then some self-styled environmentalists sued claiming ... you guessed it, "inadequate review." The Port Authority started construction anyway, and hopes to complete the project in 2019, 10 years after the application was filed."
The good news is that Congress can change the laws which impose these requirements. And the Trump administration can propose such changes. Is anyone working seriously on this?