- The Trump Administration has formally established the Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which will make recommendations on necessary investments, look for ways to speed approval processes and develop new funding mechanisms.
- A major focus of the council will be on energy, including pipelines, gas infrastructure and electric transmission.
- The council's operations are already being challenged. The Hill reports that the non profit group Food & Water Watch filed a lawsuit claiming the council has already been meeting — a violation of public access laws.
Remember President Trump's "infrastructure week?" It was overshadowed by James Comey's Capitol Hill testimony and the administration's ability to consistently step on its own message. But an executive order published in the Federal Register July 25 outlines how the White House's new infrastructure council will work and what it will do.
According to the order, the council will study and make recommendations to the president regarding government funding of infrastructure projects in several sectors: surface transportation; aviation; ports and waterways; water resources; renewable energy generation; electricity transmission; broadband; and pipelines.
There could be up to 15 presidential appointees on the council, and they will be "drawn from the public with relevant experience or subject-matter expertise."
But according to The Hill, the council — though it is still officially forming — is already under attack.
The President announced in January that two real estate developers, Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, would head the council. In addition to claims of secret meetings, Food & Water Watch is alleging the two developers have conflicts of interest as they have “longstanding personal and financial ties to the President” along with current projects that could benefit from the council's work. The group filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.