As widely reported, President Biden has used an unprecedented number of Executive Orders (E.O.’s, now put at approximately 30) and other directives in the first week of his Administration to cover a wide range of policy areas. Among the matters addressed two are of particular interest to the design and construction community: suspension of permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline project and halting of any further construction of the fence/wall along the U.S. southern border. Given the fact both of these infrastructure projects were underway, after extended debate and consideration, the stoppage has directly impacted jobs in our industry.(1) The Keystone project will likely layoff over a 1,000 workers, with anywhere from another 10-40,000 never being hired or employed on the pipeline; and
(2) With the work being halted on the border fence/wall, former Customs & Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan estimates it will cost approximately 5,000 construction jobs being lost. [NOTE: After obtaining billions of dollars in funding for construction of the border fence/wall over the last four years, the Trump Administration had completed about 450 miles before leaving office].