Trump Administration Rule Reforms NEPA, Congress Must Finish the Job

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President Trump today announced a final rule reforming the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process of evaluating and granting permits for major new energy infrastructure and natural resource projects.

Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell said:

“CEI welcomes the final NEPA rule as a major improvement over the existing regulations. Eliminating the necessity to consider cumulative impacts of proposed projects, limiting the effects that can be considered to those that have a reasonably close causal relationship to the project, and excluding projects from NEPA review that have only minimal federal involvement are especially important changes. These and other reforms, if implemented by career civil servants and enforced by federal judges, should remove some of the regulatory obstacles that delay major infrastructure and natural resource projects for years and often decades. The Trump administration’s new rule will not drain NEPA’s regulatory swamp completely (only Congress can do that), but it should significantly lower the water level.”

CEI Senior Fellow Ben Lieberman said:

“There is a backlog of energy and transportation infrastructure projects in the long NEPA queue. These job-creating projects, if expeditiously approved, could help put more people back to work as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, and the completed projects would strengthen American energy dominance. This is why the Trump administration issued an executive order asking agencies to select proposed projects for expedited NEPA review. This final rule could help many of the rest get a more timely decision without needless climate-related complications.”

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