By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

ARTBA March 31 submitted additional ideas to the U.S. Department of Commerce on how to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens.

Citing its Manufacturers Division, ARTBA stressed reforms in a variety of areas, noting “the rulemaking process has morphed from something intended to protect the public interest into a tool to achieve policy and political objectives, many of which are largely unrelated to improving our transportation infrastructure.”

Prompted by a Jan. 24 executive order from President Donald Trump, the department is exploring ways to cut red tape in domestic manufacturing.

ARTBA will continue working with several federal agencies seek to help advance the president’s regulatory reform goals.


Trump Order Ends Social Cost of Carbon and Climate Change Considerations

President Trump’s March 28 executive order rolling back Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) impacts ARTBA members on at least two fronts.

First, the order directs federal agencies to cease using “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC) metrics in future regulations. SCC was developed in 2010 by 13 federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is “an estimate of the monetized damages associated with an incremental increase in carbon in any given year.”

ARTBA objected to the use of SCC in developing regulations in a Feb. 28 statement to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Second, the president calls on the Committee on Environmental Quality to stop considering climate change impacts in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. ARTBA has voiced concerns about the use of climate change in NEPA reviews, noting that including such analysis is “beyond the scope and the purpose” of the statute.

Industry Supports Bill Ending Mandatory Project Labor Agreements

In a March 27 letter to the House of Representatives, ARTBA and 13 other trade association allies urge support of the “Fair and Open Competition” Act. The bill, H.R. 1552, would prevent mandatory “project labor agreements” (PLA), which require the use of union labor, on federal and federal-aid projects.