Environmental reviews in the United States have long passed the bounds of reasonableness. European countries, with far-better environmental protections, are still able to build large-scale infrastructure projects. The United States, not so much.
California is the biggest offender. But it is everywhere. The Purple Line is back in court over ... oh, man. A bridge is too big, and should be made smaller and more expensive. More vegetation needs to be planted between the tracks to reduce runoff. And, of course, we need to protect the Hay’s Spring and Kenk’s amphipod.
I do not know how to build a political coalition to weaken the environmental laws. Democratic operatives tell me that they would in theory be open, but in practice do not trust the Republicans enough to start the process. Republicans tell me that they would obviously love to weaken the protections, but worry about a backlash from NIMBYs who like the laws for completely non-environmental reasons. But they dismiss Democratic worries as political piffle and say that if the Democrats would provide cover, their amendments would pass.
Either way, it is depressing. We have bad environmental laws that block needed projects for no public benefit, yet the political system is unable to reform them. One side fears losing the baby with the bathwater; the other dismisses those fears but says that a lot of their supporters like being able to throw dirty bathwater at people. Gaaaaaah.