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Republicans Call Out Biden for Reversing NEPA Reforms


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 2021 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) was joined by every committee Republican in a letter to Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, highlighting the necessity of streamlining the National Environmental Policy Act in a timely manner. In part, the members wrote:

"President Biden’s decision to reverse reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will subject the American people to delayed projects and improvements when they need them most because of another misguided policy. Under the Trump administration, commonsense updates to NEPA helped streamline the federal government’s decision-making process. We strongly oppose the reinstatement of an overburdensome regulatory regime and question the reasoning behind the Council for Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) proposed NEPA revisions...

"The Biden administration’s decision to revert to previous NEPA regulations would increase bureaucratic red tape and duplicative reviews for domestic energy production and transmission. Instead of continuing the energy independence that the Trump administration achieved, President Biden unilaterally cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline and halted energy development on federal lands and waters, creating uncertainty for current and future operations. Rather than pursue domestic energy production, the Biden administration saddled Americans with rising gas prices and then chose to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Regressing to outdated NEPA procedures will impede energy development of all types on federal lands and waters, making the United States dependent on foreign energy and continue to increase prices at the pump for everyday Americans...

"CEQ’s proposed reinstatement of an ineffective NEPA regulatory scheme will damage domestic industry, confuse businesses, delay needed projects, and harm our environment. CEQ has already confused and politicized the NEPA process by issuing more than 35 sets of guidelines. This goes against congressional intent and creates lengthy reviews that prevent proper management of federal lands. The 2020 reforms represented a balanced approach to responsibly caring for the environment while growing our nation’s economy. We should not be getting rid of this approach when American lands, energy, and infrastructure need it the most. We strongly oppose CEQ’s proposed NEPA revisions and urge you to maintain the 2020 reforms."

Read the full letter here.


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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