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‘Infrastructure’ is in the eye of the beholder

‘Infrastructure’ is in the eye of the beholder

The Washington Post
By Michael Laris
September 26

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao issued a public call in June for ways to improve government permitting. The federal notice announcing the crowdsourcing effort said her agency wanted to hear about burdens that “unjustifiably delay or prevent completion of surface, maritime, and aviation transportation infrastructure projects.”

Many of the responses from industry groups stray from the immediate realm of roads, bridges and airports, and stretch the definition of “infrastructure” to the breaking point. The aspirational and bipartisan-sounding term has become a branding device for all sorts of corporate priorities and efforts to cut government under President Trump.

The fertilizer industry, noting its support for “initiatives that will accelerate construction of transportation infrastructure projects,” wants to kill a federal clearinghouse meant to keep track of truckers who fail drug and alcohol tests. The Fertilizer Institute, whose members haul ammonia and other hazardous chemicals, said officials were “inserting themselves into the time sensitive arena of compliance.” FULL ARTICLE

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