Saturday, June 17, 2017

How regulation doubles infrastructure costs

Get those shovels in the ground - faster to rebuild our infrastructure: George F. Will |

June 12, 2017 - "Because the inaccurately named Center for American Progress has chosen to defend the impediments that government places in its own path regarding public works, it has done [Philip K.] Howard the favor of rekindling interest in something he wrote in 2015....

"In September 2015, Howard, founder and chair of the reform advocacy group Common Good, published a paper 'Two Years Not Ten Years: Redesigning Infrastructure Approvals.'

"In it, he argued that
America could modernize its infrastructure, at half the cost, while dramatically enhancing environmental benefits, with a two-year approval process. Our analysis shows that a six-year delay in starting construction on public projects costs the nation over $3.7 trillion, including the costs of prolonged inefficiencies and unnecessary pollution.

This is more than double the $1.7 trillion needed through the end of this decade to modernize America's infrastructure.
"The nation that built the Empire State Building in 410 days during the Depression and the Pentagon in 16 months during wartime recently took nine years just for the permitting of a San Diego desalination plant.

"Five years and 20,000 pages of environmental assessments and permitting and regulatory materials were consumed before beginning to raise the roadway on New Jersey's Bayonne Bridge, a project with, as Howard says, 'virtually no environmental impact (it uses existing foundations and right-of-way).' Fourteen years were devoted to the environmental review for dredging the Port of Savannah....

"In 2011, shippers using the inland waterway system of canals, dams and locks endured delays amounting to 25 years. In 2012, the Treasury Department estimated that traffic congestion wasted 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline annually. Diverting freight to trucks because of insufficient railway capacity quadruples fuel consumption....

"Twenty months after Howard published his article, the CAP's response shows how far we have defined efficiency down: It celebrates the fact that federal environmental statements average only 4.6 years.

"Actually, that would be bad enough if such reviews were all or even most of the problem. Actually, there are other kinds of reviews and other layers of government involved, as with the Bayonne Bridge – 47 permits from 19 federal, state and local agencies."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment