Trump proposal guts NEPA, the bedrock law protecting environmental reviews

The Trump administration is doing its darndest to make sure that development projects can easily pass environmental reviews—no matter how they might contribute to climate change. The U.S. Council on Environmental Quality has released a plan that significantly weakens the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock law that ensures the environmental review process across federal agencies is thorough, transparent, and includes public input. The Trump administration is now proposing to allow agencies to skip over climate concerns when analyzing a project’s environmental impacts—despite the escalating climate crisis already happening across the nation and the dire warnings from our own federal scientists. The proposal is reported to also limit the kinds of projects that require environmental review at all. The implications are big: Fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline—waylaid in part due to its hefty carbon footprint—could now be given a pass while other infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges, may no longer need to consider rising sea levels. Yikes.


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