President Trump announced significant updates to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The President previously said that extensive bureaucracy and regulation can lead to “uncertainty and delays that can increase costs, derail important projects, and threaten jobs for American workers and labor union members”. To help remedy this, the proposed changes would redefine what constitutes a “major federal action” in order to streamline investment, as well as set two-year deadlines and page limits for environmental reviews. Environmental impact statements (EIS) for Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines dragged on for years during the Obama Administration, as an EIS for major projects can currently take more than five years and span hundreds of pages.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“GAIN applauds President Trump’s action for taking steps to modernize outdated regulations that have hindered American investment and development of our nation’s energy infrastructure. While NEPA’s fundamental goal of carefully considering the environmental impact of major projects is important, unnecessary bureaucratic delays should not come at the expense of American jobs and critical infrastructure improvements. Anti-energy activists have weaponized NEPA to prevent development of our nation’s energy resources: A dangerous risk considering the ongoing global uncertainty in the Middle East and South America.
“Environmental stewardship and responsible development of our energy resources should go hand-in-hand. The proposed changes to NEPA maintain the importance of environmental protections while also ensuring regulatory certainty, limiting red tape, and streamlining the permitting and approval process for key infrastructure projects that will benefit millions of American families.”