Trump administration advises its agencies to ignore the climate consequences of proposed projects

A new draft guidance issued by the White House Council on Environmental Quality allows federal agencies to turn a blind eye to the long-term climate impacts of new projects, including carbon-intensive ones like coal mining and offshore drilling. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act review process, agencies must only take into account for greenhouse gas emissions when a “sufficiently close causal relationship exists.” They can also opt out of the climate assessments entirely if they would be “overly speculative.” The move is no doubt a response to the number of occasions in which courts have found the administration cutting corners in their climate calculations.

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