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How will President Biden's reversal of Trump-era rule on environment impact Florida?

Biden restores federal regulations guiding environmental reviews of major infrastructure projects
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 17:46:37-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — With Earth Day this Friday, President Joe Biden made a move in an effort to combat climate change.

The federal government is giving agencies more power to study how big projects can impact the environment, including here in Florida.

Supporters are praising the move while others say it may increase inflation more.

Along the Intracoastal Waterway in Lake Worth Beach, some people never stop thinking about climate change.

Drew Martin, conservation chair for the Sierra Club's Loxahatchee Group.
Drew Martin explains why he supports the Biden move to restore the environmental protections.

"My biggest concern is sea level rise but also the storms and the increased risk from storms," said Drew Martin, conservation chair for the Sierra Club's Loxahatchee Group.

Martin keeps a close eye on the environment from Palm Beach to the Treasure Coast.

He's glad Biden restored some rules that require the federal government to look at how major infrastructure projects will affect climate change before approving them.

"Absolutely, the better regulated the industry is, the better they do for the environment," Martin said. "And it's good for industry too because they know the ground rules, and they do the right thing."

Peter Feaman with the National Republican Committee, April 19, 2022
Peter Feaman is among the Republicans speaking out against Biden's reversal of the Trump-era rule.

The move reverses an order from former President Donald Trump that had been designed to cut all the so-called "red tape" for big projects.

"Anything that President Trump did I think (Biden) feels it's his job to undo," said Peter Feaman with the National Republican Committee.

Feaman holds the view of many others in the Republican party who feel that too much regulation is bad for the bottom line.

"It slows construction and again it's going to ratchet up the cost of those projects, which again only makes inflation worse, and it makes the cost of all that kind of construction go up," Feaman said.

The White House disagrees with this viewpoint, saying the reforms will give communities more information about projects and their impacts.