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


#1

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

Julia Conley, staff writer

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.


#2

I’m not surprised, but I’d missed the whole permitting approach. Sheesh!


#3

Sounds like a con artist at work. Makes me wonder how many industry lobbyists were swarming all over the creation of this plan with gobs of bribe money. The same lobbyists the funded Trumps campaign to be elected president. Most likely a promotion of the best interests of Big Oil, Big Coal, etc… But you have to stop and think about the future and if we shouldn’t be putting the focus on alternative renewable energy sources of the future. In short, the Trump proposal is most likely a huge butt kiss to his industrial donors to his campaign to win the presidency.


#4

“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”

― Cree Indian Prophecy


#5

I’m not sure how doing the right thing and making sure one time deadlines for decisions are met is a ‘giveaway’ to anyone. It does reduce the opportunity for intentional obstruction across multiple agencies and waging lawfare against construction projects, and that’s the real issue here.


#6

“Waging lawfare”? So you don’t think the professionals at EPA have any advice to give those at Transportation? I think that was made very clear in the article.


#7

There is no “there” here. That is, “designed” from this guy is b.s. or at best, a result from random narcissistic behavior or just an absurd recurring condescending attitude toward us (little) people. Without a doubt, he is running our United States into permanent moral bankruptcy through continuing a permanent immoral war on the poor of us. During the prez run-up: One example (of many) relates to us, the [little] people during a press conference: We Americans were lucky to have only a relatively low amount of pesticide-contaminated food, compared to other countries. (I felt betrayed, right off the bat!) A second example: during a debate with Clinton-2, this adult trust-fund inheritor, acted like a wiseguy without remorse, when he retorted that it was “her” fault (when she was a Senator) for his getting away with tax avoidance! lol. In other words, anyone can anytime - and it’s alright - to find any loophole around a law, rather than acting responsibly, and doing what some of “We the People” would call “doing what’s Right rather than a Wrong”. (Goddess only knows how many more deranged wealth inheritors are in the pipeline to destroy Mom Earth’s and We the Poor Peoples’ future.)


#8

The longer that Congress keeps Don and his wrecking crew in power, the more damage will be done. They know this and, so far, are complicit with the agenda.


#9

What so many of these “green organizations” fail to understand is that in order to greatly change the grid and develop millions and billions of solar and wind models you demand a significant amount of coal, natural gas and oil to make the very materials used in infrastructure. This is why moratoriums on pipelines and new fossil fuel development makes entirely no sense. What on earth are you going to be make fiberglass out of when you ban the production of ethylene because it came from fossil fuels? How exactly are we going to completely redesign our transportation infrastructure, when you ban the production of asphalt and coal slag cement aggregates?

Yes the proposition to fast track environmental studies and safety studies is sketchy, but honestly if you really think any infrastructure program is going to be clean and green, you clearly have no idea what materials are used in infrastructure and how infrastructure gets built.


#10

True enough, but somewhat understated. The idea is to propel us into a more destructive future, not a past of one sort or another.

Let’s keep our heads about this a bit, though. These have been the aims of both major parties: Obama’s backing of coal and nuclear power, the TPP reductions in legal culpability for international corporations, and the ongoing dozen or so wars across the planet underscore the ruling idea here. Trump is rushing forward to be as guilty as his predecessors, though it’s clear enough that he has the character to do it.

Assuming that the philosophy of American oligarchs is roughly in line with their actions, the idea is to burn the Earth’s remaining windfall of resources fast and hard to maintain and extend oppressive control over the Earth’s people so as to attempt to buy or steal whatever lends some minor impunity against the multiple catastrophes that they are causing.

This comes from the Hobbesian sort of idea that human life is nasty, brutish, and short not because of oppression, but because of some intrinsic flaw in the nature of humans. Clearly these people and their institutions have to be supplanted, but they seem determined to meet a violent end.


#11

Your ultimate paragraph is spot on. It goes to the notion that we as autonomous persons and NOT persons protected by the corporate veil (legal term of art) are at fault, or to blame, for whatever situation the corporation wishes to override.


#12

I always wonder who these industry lobbyists are and how their minds can be changed. Either they’re merely protecting a familial heritage of fossil fuel extraction (coal gas oil) and blindly parroting their elders’ talking points, or they are sufficiently brainwashed republicans and believe only in sanitized language like jobs, growth, energy, terrorism, etc. Or they are regular people like you and me, easily misled by their media and their neighborhood onto this delusional plain of limitless underground gunk and the exception that the US/West actually owns it all (because we can extract it, this applies to neocolonialism). I think we might face better odds if we daily talk to each other about this shit and be real and undefensive. Non-violent communication helps. We can solve this all by ourselves without “electing” a single savior. Imagine everyday with less fossil fuels…


#13

Explain how supporting nuclear power leads to a destructive future, given that nuclear offers you the most amount of energy per the least amount of materials? And before you say nukes, please keep in mind the fact that there is zero evidence a nuclear energy for commercial use has ever increased wmd proliferation.


#14

An example of the type of recurring issue with nuclear energy. Moving waste is a hazard to communities. Then power plants that have been shut down after years of use become sites for storing radioactive waste. Which then set up public health hazard locations.


#15

Backwards thinking by morons.
Trump, Sessions , DeVos and white nationalists. We are fucked. Rise up or leave.


#16

What do you expect from an old man stuck in the past and his former glory days. He’s going to want to perpetuate a paradigm that enriched him and his friends, and since he’s not that bright, he doesn’t really have a clue how moronic his plans are.


#17

I love it how so many people like to frame this argument as if nuclear industry has no idea on how to solve this problem, even though theres literally a federal bill that PROMISED the nuclear industry a solution to waste management. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 set up a system that forced nuclear reactors to pay for Yucca Mountain Deep Geological Depository. Under this act the federal government bears legal responsibility for long term nuclear waste, and yet the nuclear industry has paid out $31 billion over 40 years for a plan that the federal government promised but then refused. This is not an issue for nuclear energy, its an issue for the government. If it wasn’t illegal, the nuclear industry should’ve absolutely sued the federal government for fraud.

The only reason these reactors are having to store excess waste on site, is because the federal government lied about solutions for nuclear waste, but honestly that’s not even the worst concept.

The WORST:
Even though the federal government promised responsibility for a solution for nuclear waste under a legally binding congressionally supported act and essentially stole $31 billion from an industry and then required them to take on excess cost, because they failed to actually follow their own laws, the worst of it is that the nuclear industry actually has new solutions, but its so ridiculously difficult to advocate for dramatic nuclear policy change that congress has NEVER ONCE talked about these solutions.

Heres a solution:
Lets look at solutions by other countries and more specifically the EU. A major solution is reprocessing nuclear fuel from nuclear waste, so that it can be reused. The USA actually used to have reprocessing, until it was banned by the federal government in 1977 for “weapons proliferation concerns”. This is super interesting considering the fact that there is zero evidence that nuclear energy for commercial use has ever increased weapons proliferation. Literally never happened, but the federal government banned it and then made it so expensive that the commercial industry in the USA has zero reprocessing capability. Yet every time a nuclear lobbyist attempts to even mention reprocessing we hear all about completely unsubstantiated nuclear proliferation concerns.

Heres a solution:
96% of all high level nuclear waste by volume is made of Uranium 238. This isotope has a 4.5 billion year half life, so why did Yucca Mountain have to be rated for 10,000 years? That’s ridiculously higher than all spent fuel waste (300 years max decay) and ridiculously lower than the decay rate of the most radioactive material by volume (40+ billion year decay).
Uranium 238 is fertile fuel isotope, which means that it can become a fissile isotope through a process called breeding. Breeding forces U-238 to absorb neutrons so that it transmutes into U-239. U-239 has about a 20 minute decay rate and will decay into Np-239 with about a 2 day decay. After 2 days Np-239 decays into Pu-239. Pu-239 is a fissile fuel for nuclear reactors. Most conventional nuclear reactors actually currently do this, because enrichment is so low, but there is a lower probability of breeding and eventual fission than in actual breeder reactors.

But wait second this doesn’t actually decrease waste as youre just making Pu-239?

Yes that’s correct, except that with U-238 you have to wait 4.5 billion years for one decay, and with Pu-239 you have to wait 24,400 years for one decay. Breeding greatly reduces the decay rate, which means that over time you will reduce the volume of waste faster. Now 24,400 years is still a really long time, but breeder reactors are made to breed fertile fuel to fissile fuel and then fission it. Since we are breeding Pu-239 we will then fission it most likely in a fast reactor. The most common fission products of Pu-239 are Xenon 134, which is stable and Zirconium 103 which has a 1.2 second half life. The combination of breeding and fission can change the decay rate from 4 billion years to a little over 1 year.

So this must be super advanced future technology that the USA can never afford right? Um well actually the first nuclear reactor used for electrical generator was in fact a fast breeder reactor in 1952 called the EBR-1. Since that time the USA has developed over 7 other types of breeder reactors, and yet when the senate committee questioned Rick Perry about his plans for advanced nuclear technology they NEVER ONCE brought up breeder reactors, fast reactors or waste management.

This is not an issue of the technology, as the technology has a history of being developed in the past both for fast breeding and reprocessing. This is an issue of politics, where industry is so tied to the government that its impossible to currently move forward without government cooperation. Nuclear is by far the most harmed industry by this factor. There are reasons why nuclear has major issues with cost other than the government, but when the federal government makes you pay for solutions that never actually come, then require you to take on more costs that was promised never to be your burden, and now is formidable in waste management progression these incurred costs are politically driven bullsh!t.


#18

The point is, based on the current state of affairs you have a point. However, this issue of waste management is not an issue controlled by nuclear energy. There have been multiple solutions advocated and proposed by the nuclear industry. Yet 40 years after the first proposal there still is no long term solution in action.

I get really annoyed when people (not necessarily you) act like the nuclear industry has no solution, when they literally propose a solution and these same people vote against the solution and say theres no solution. There are so many different ways that you can dramatically improve nuclear technology today, and according to polling the majority of congress supports nuclear. Yet when these technological advances actually come forward to proposal for the federal government they have never actually been given application in reality.

Integration from laboratory scale to commercial development is unbelievable when you compare nuclear to every other energy source. Today the USA sits with its head up its a$$, as we watch other country’s governments integrate a safer nuclear technology the USA invented 50 years ago. Yet the USA will sit still and complain that the nuclear industry has no solutions on how to improve the safety of nuclear reactors. F@cking unbelievable.


#19

I apologize. I have often said that Donald Trump is trying to take us back to the 19th century - the age of the Robber Barons. I was wrong. His infrastructure scam would take us further back - before America’s public highway system began and people were forced to travel on private toll roads. Our Corporate-Angel-in-Chief is proposing that our infrastructure be turned over to private ownership, and citizens will pay dearly for the privilege of travelling from one city to another.


#20

Too late for the huge further investments now. Time to move to the ones where a spill is called a nice day.