Trump Administration Attacks National Environmental Policy Act on Bedrock Law’s 50th Anniversary

January 03, 2020

WASHINGTON (January 3, 2020) — The Trump administration will propose this week to gut National Environmental Policy Act rules for conducting environmental reviews of federal activities — changes that will threaten critical safeguards for air, water and wildlife. The proposal will also squelch public participation in federal agency decisions and impose arbitrary time limits on completion of environmental reviews.

Under the proposed rules, federal agencies could ignore whether a project’s greenhouse gas emissions would worsen climate change. The proposal would also eliminate consideration of cumulative impacts, such as damage to public lands and wildlife from fossil fuel extraction. Oil and gas pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure would escape meaningful environmental analysis, with no consideration of harm to animals like sage grouse or marine mammals from drilling rigs and other projects.

“It’s shameful that the Trump administration is ripping apart America’s cornerstone environmental law on its 50th anniversary,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trump’s gift to the fossil fuel industry and special interests will silence ordinary Americans while giving polluters a free pass to trash the environment, destroy public lands and kill wildlife.”

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