If an American president signs a climate-change agreement, and everyone is around to see it, does it really make a difference? With an election every four years, the answer is not on the international stage.
The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week will move a bill spending $547 billion over five years on surface transportation including rail and public transit and another $50 billion measure focused on wastewater infrastructure. The highway bill as it is known has no Republican supporters; the water bill has two.
On May 13, the Biden EPA rescinded yet another rule issued by the Trump administration that will lay the groundwork for them to further regulate manufacturers, utilities and other businesses that generate emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Congressional Republicans and the White House are starting to talk about what each side can live with as part of an infrastructure package. As a glass-half-empty person, I tend to look at what each side cannot live with and look for those deal breakers.
For those of us who followed the Trump administration closely, the idea of “Infrastructure Week” was a running joke in Washington from February 2017 until the point in 2018 when all sides stopped kidding themselves.
On April 13, the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), a multistate organization created under the Clean Air Act to advise the EPA on the ground-level ozone, held a hearing that could lead to stricter regulations of industrial boilers, cement kilns, tank farms and non-stationary sources such as trucks and engines.
Shortly after taking office, President Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain issued a regulatory-freeze memo across virtually all agencies. The action is typical of an incoming administration, especially one from the opposing party. The move allows the President’s team to review pending rules, 11th-hour actions and permanent regulations drafted by the previous administration.
Every new President storms into office with bold proclamations about what they will accomplish on “Day One” and proposes an aggressive agenda for their first 100 days in office. In reality, however, the President of the United States is limited in what permanent changes they can accomplish on their own without Congress.