A good deal happening on the infrastructure front.
Before getting into that, I want to mention the disaster in Houston and to say how important the federal government and voluntary funds from the American Red Cross and others are to the crisis and will be to rebuilding. Our sister company, Measure, is flying drones over the region as a part of this effort to do triage in Houston. Here is a short clip: https://vimeo.com/231629513 .
On the infrastructure front then, much going on. Be in touch liberally.
Recently, President Trump signed an Executive Order modernizing the environmental review process. It aims to decrease the regulatory review process from ten years to two years while still fulfilling the fundamental objectives of the regulations.
Governor Cuomo opened up the mega-project Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge replacing the Tappan Zee bridge, which will transform the region, last week in record time because of a similar regulatory expediting.
Over 50 pieces of infrastructure legislation have been introduced into Congress. Some by Republicans and others Democrats, although a number of important bipartisan pieces are under consideration too.
When the President talks about taking $200 billion of federal money and leveraging that to bring in, over ten years, $800 billion of money from federal, state, and private sector sources, we see progress.
Right now, in the region of $150 billion sits in infrastructure funds earmarked for rebuilding the country. That money is available today and comes largely from our pensions, insurers, sovereigns, and family offices.
At the state level, we see enormous amounts raised through voter referendum, gas tax increases, and other sources. Take California alone. The state recently raised its gas tax which will bring over $54 billion to the table over ten years. Over twenty states have raised their gas taxes in the last several years. California also extended the cap-and-trade program ten years. This will bring money into the High Speed Rail and other infrastructure projects. Within the state, Los Angeles itself raised $120 billion through voter referendum.
So, although the Trump Infrastructure Plan has not passed, we see its logic working its way through the country. The Executive Order will itself, for next to no financial outlay, bring large amounts of capital in an expedited way.
Importantly, we will not see a federalization of infrastructure. Governors and Mayors will also lead the way as partners. At times, without federal funds.
More after Labor Day.