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America Can’t Build New Bridges Because of the Environment

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On November 24, 2013 @ 10:51 am In The Point | 5 Comments

File this under “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Every other month, Obama pivots to America’s collapsing infrastructure and all the bridges that are about to fall down because Republicans won’t raise taxes and four trillion just isn’t enough to pay to fix bridges.

The real reason we can’t fix or build things is because of a liberal bureaucracy and its corrupt rent-seeking parasites feeding off their environmental scams.

“Raising the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge at the mouth of the Port of Newark, for example, requires no new foundations or right of way, and would not require approvals at all except that it spans navigable water. Raising the roadway would allow a new generation of efficient large ships into the port. But the project is now approaching its fifth year of legal process, bogged down in environmental litigation.

“An alteration project like the Bayonne Bridge should probably have an environmental review of a few dozen pages and not, as in that case, more than 5,000 pages.

“It is also important to change the Balkanized approvals process for other regulations and licenses. These approvals are now spread among federal, state and local agencies like a parody of bureaucracy, with little coordination and frequent duplication of environmental and other requirements.

“The Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, now in its 12th year of scrutiny, required review by 17 different agencies. The Gateway West power line, to carry electricity from Wyoming wind farms to the Pacific Northwest, requires the approval of each county in Idaho that the line will traverse. The approval process, begun in 2007, is expected to be complete by 2015. This is paralysis by federalism.”

Liberals keep lusting after China’s infrastructure, but the PRC doesn’t have 5,000 page environmental reviews. No one does.

This isn’t just Federal, it’s also out-of-control bureaucracy and it’s profiteering environmental bureaucracy that paralyzes even environmental projects.

The Cape Wind Project is a wind farm and it’s being opposed by environmental groups… because the only thing environmentalists really want is nothing.

They’re nihilists. And they have become modern Luddites unwilling to build anything unless it profits them personally.


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