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Trump Wants to Build Roads Faster: Our Mitch Kokai Comments

This week, JLF’s Mitch Kokai was quoted in a piece for Triangle Business Journal on the president’s recent infrastructure announcement. The reporter, Lauren Ohnesorge, explains:

In a speech in the Roosevelt Room Thursday… [Trump told] reporters that it can take more than 10 years “just to get a permit to build a simple road,” Trump pointed to the Tar Heel state as one reason regulations under the National Environmental Protection Act should be rolled back.

“For example, in North Carolina, it took 25 years to begin construction of the Marc Basnight Bridge,” he said. “The United States will not be able to compete and prosper in the 21st century if we continue to allow a broken and outdated bureaucratic system to hold us back from building what we need: the roads, the airports, the schools, everything.”

Ohnesorge writes:

Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation, says his group has been focused “for years” on reducing regulatory burdens at the state level…

Kokai claims the proposed changes do not limit rules currently in place.  “If this plays out as promised, nothing is going to change in the form of the actual obstacles and hurdles a project would have to meet to get approval,” he says. “The only change would be making sure it doesn’t take as long as it has been in the past. You can’t just kill a project by throwing it to the bureaucracy.”

The implementation of this change, however, will likely face some obstacles. Ohnesorge quotes Kokai:

“One of the key hurdles for this will be ongoing litigation,” he says. “I can’t imagine that the groups that like to see these regulations in place slowing down these projects are going to take this lying down.

Kokai says projects already caught up in regulatory limbo could see further delays, but predicts “projects moving forward are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of this.”

Read the full article here. Read more about transportation in North Carolina here.

Brenee Goforth / Marketing and Communications Associate

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