Citing the economic “emergency” caused by the pandemic as a driving force, President Trump signed an executive order suspending environmental reviews and public comment periods for highways, pipelines, oil and gas projects, and other big infrastructure efforts, according to reporting in The Washington Post. But the administration’s attempts to gut one of the relevant laws, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), began in January, well before the pandemic froze most of the nation’s workplaces. Historically, communities of color most often bear the polluting brunt of such projects. “It shows again that they have no respect for the lives in these communities that are already overburdened,” Mustafa Santiago Ali, the Obama-era senior adviser for environmental justice at the EPA, told The Hill. “Trump’s actions put a spotlight on black lives don’t matter.” Status: The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the executive order, which the President signed on June 4, 2020. The Trump administration finalized the rule July 14, 2020.