Modernizing NEPA for the 21st Century
The NEPA review process remains unnecessarily complex, unreasonably time-consuming, and significantly uncertain, which in turn impedes investment in the nation’s energy resources and infrastructure. The intent of NEPA is to benefit the environment and future generations of Americans. Hundreds of projects have been delayed in the last decade by NEPA, including the Bayonne Bridge Raising project that took more than 10 years and produced over 20,000 pages of environmental reviews. Uncertainty around costs and timelines can make projects uneconomical and, without updating NEPA, many will never be built. NEPA reform is a win for every industry because NEPA reform could allow the efficient construction of critical infrastructure to support communities across the country, including lower-carbon energy options, like natural gas and renewables, as well as future clean-energy innovations.
API’s Paul G. Afonso, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, and Ben Norris, Senior Counsel, wrote in Law360 about the importance of NEPA modernization in an OpEd published in Law360. In the article they explain why, from a legal perspective, the CEQ is poised to accomplish an important achievement that eluded past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, essential for the nation’s energy future and environmental progress. The OpEd also explains how the proposed rule does not eliminate any requirement that agencies consider GHG emissions when conducting NEPA reviews, nor does it limit public participation in the process.
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