The wheels on the Trump administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan appear to be moving. After months of delays, the president, through an executive order, announced the creation of a Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure.
Neither the president nor Congress has been able to focus on infrastructure as health care legislation has dominated the early months of the Trump presidency. But now, the president has laid a foundation for the development of a 15-member panel to advise him on issues that are hampering the development of infrastructure projects nationwide. He has also named Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as the individual who will direct the council’s activities.
There are a lot of question marks about the funding of rural America but there are also indications that a large segment of the Congress is in favor.
There’s no way to know how much, if any, will actually trickle down to small and rural areas. Spokespersons for the administration say rural America will not be overlooked but there is still angst because capturing federal and state funding has always been challenging for rural communities.
Many airports got good news recently. Federal funding is on the way.
Airports are significant economic drivers for the communities where they are located. They directly affect commerce, tourism and trade and their impact on local and regional economies is considerable. Yet, many are suffering from crumbling infrastructure and are in need of repairs and upgrades.
The media has focused on cyberattacks related to election systems lately. Many individuals, public officials, and company executives, however, have been just as worried about ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks infect computer networks with a virus that totally shuts down a computer or a network. It prevents access and demands payment to release and restore data on the machine or network. Recent examples of ransomware attacks illustrate the vulnerabilities that government entities face. The ransom costs are exorbitant while the risk of either a loss of data or a service outage is terrifying.
The federal government may not like the Paris Climate Agreement, but state and local elected officials do. This past weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted a large number of mayors who reiterated their commitment to the partnership agreement. These officials visiting Florida for the U.S. Conference of Mayors represent the Climate Mayors, a bipartisan organization that was organized in 2014. The group now boasts 331 mayors representing 65 million Americans. The membership includes mayors from the 10 largest cities in the U.S., including traditional energy hubs such as Houston and Dallas.
It’s impossible to know whether Congress will provide federal funding to stimulate infrastructure spending. Although members from both parties have strongly advocated for addressing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, there is much disagreement about how much funding to allocate and how to leverage the funding.
Infrastructure project stakeholders in both the public and private sectors wince at the mention of how federal regulations often create insurmountable obstacles that can either impede or prevent completion of long overdue infrastructure projects in the U.S.