Media Quote Susan Lent on State of the Union' Infrastructure Proposal

Law360 has quoted Susan Lent, a partner at Akin Gump and head of the firm’s infrastructure and transportation practice, in the article “State Of The Union Won’t Fix Partisan Quagmire In Congress,” which reports on the proposals included in President Trump’s speech last week before a joint session of Congress. Among them, an expected infrastructure bill.

The article notes that infrastructure, which is often a bipartisan issue, is expected to be a priority for Congress this year. Mr. Trump said his plan would emphasize cutting back regulation that, in the past, has held back investment and led to potentially short-term projects taking years.

Lent said the parts of the administration infrastructure proposal that have been made public contained several interesting proposals for regulatory changes, including streamlining environmental reviews. “There is really a significant number of recommendations there that would allow projects to move forward more expeditiously and efficiently and would ultimately have the benefit of reducing costs and getting more projects done,” Lent said.

Expressing some skepticism about the amount of leverage the plan called for on a $200 billion federal investment, Lent was concerned about what that might mean for states and localities considering projects under the plan. “The money has to come from somewhere,” she said. “If you have a toll road or you are going to privatize your water system, then the private sector is going to have to get a rate of return.”

In a separate article in Institutional Investing in Infrastructure, “President Trump outlines infrastructure plan,” Lent said of Mr. Trump’s proposal, “Streamlining the environmental review and permitting process, incentivizing financial participation by the private sector and state and local governments and providing new funding for different types of infrastructure to address local needs are all good concepts that Congress likely will seriously consider in drafting infrastructure legislation.”