Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Trump's new infrastructure proposal will make the construction of new fossil-fuel carrying pipelines easier, as the government does away with in-depth environmental reviews. (Photo: jasonwoodhead23/Flickr/cc)

Trump Infrastructure Plan Decried as 'Scam' Designed to Keep US Stuck in 'Dirty and Destructive Past'

"This is a plan to shore up the infrastructure of the past, rather than invest in what we need for the future."

Julia Conley

Green groups were among the first to declare fierce opposition to the Trump administration's infrastructure plan released on Monday, citing concerns over the proposal's lack of regard for the environmental implications of building projects.

The plan is "nothing more than a scam to roll back environmental and health protections," said Ben Schreiber of Friends of the Earth.

An outline of the plan to streamline federal permitting processes for infrastructure projects was released last week, detailing plans for a "one agency, one decision" system. Under the plan, firm permit deadlines would be imposed as a way to hamstring environmental impact reviews and safety assessments. 

Climate campaigners say the plan will serve as a giveaway to corporations looking to bypass environmental reviews to quickly complete projects—including those that involve fossil-fuel carrying pipelines. The proposal, critics say, ignores mounting evidence that shifting the nation's focus away from oil and gas and towards renewable energy would create jobs and strengthen the economy as well as protect the environment.

"This is a climate-wrecking fossil fuel infrastructure plan that fast-tracks pipelines at the expense of frontline communities and working people," May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, said in a statement. "This flies in the face of everything we know about climate science."

"This is a plan to shore up the infrastructure of the past, rather than invest in what we need for the future, such as transmission lines that connect the country's plentiful wind and solar energy to the population centers where it's needed, a modern electric grid to accommodate more renewables, and energy storage projects to set us up for a widescale roll out of this technology," added Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Greenpeace noted the disconnect between Trump's stated goal of creating jobs and his release of a plan aimed at expediting projects for an industry that employs fewer workers than the solar power sector.

"Trump's infrastructure bill is disguised as a 'jobs bill,' but it's yet another attempt by the administration to force through pipelines that threaten land, water, and Indigenous sovereignty," said Molly Dorozenski, a spokesperson for the group. "A true jobs bill would invest in clean energy and put Americans to work changing our future, not locking us into a dirty and destructive past."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Urged to Sign Executive Order Guaranteeing Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

After the president brokered a compulsory contract without a single paid day off for illness, one labor advocate implored him to "put up or shut up about how you really want them to have sick leave!"

Brett Wilkins ·


Campaigners Demand Deep Cuts to Plastic Production as Global Treaty Negotiations Ramp Up

"The scale of the problem is mind-boggling," said one advocate. "Plastic is in our blood. It's in fetuses. It's really encroaching on every aspect of human existence."

Julia Conley ·


Putting 'Profits Over People', Senate Rejects Paid Sick Leave for Rail Workers

"Senate Republicans and Joe Manchin have yet AGAIN failed working Americans by voting down seven days of paid sick leave for rail workers," lamented Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Must Cancel Student Debt,' Activists Argue as SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Case in February

"The right-tilted Supreme Court now holds in the balance relief for millions of hardworking Americans," said one campaigner. "It would be a giant loss for the economy if justices rule in favor of the special interests."

Jessica Corbett ·


A Labor Revolt Is Brewing... Inside the National Labor Relations Board

"From Congress, we demand funds, not furloughs," says the NLRB union. "From NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, we demand collaboration, not coercion."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo