26 Apr 2010, 10:06pm
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Senate Republicans Move to Bar NEPA Analysis of Climate Change Impacts

By NOELLE STRAUB, Greenwire, NY Times, April 20, 2010 [here]

Republican senators introduced legislation today that would block White House efforts to require federal agencies to consider climate change in environmental analyses of proposed projects.

The bill says the National Environmental Policy Act should not be used to document, predict or mitigate the climate effects of specific federal actions. Under the measure, NEPA reviews could not consider the greenhouse gas emissions of a proposed federal project nor climate change effects as related to the proposal’s design, environmental impacts, or mitigation or adaptation measures.

The measure comes after the White House in February issued draft guidance [here] that will require federal agencies to consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change when carrying out NEPA reviews. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ, is accepting public comment on the proposal through May 24.

The senators say assessing the climate change impacts of individual projects would provide no meaningful information for the public but instead would encourage more bureaucratic delays and litigation “designed to change NEPA into a global warming prevention statute.” They claim the guidance could block road construction, delay domestic energy production and hurt job creation, while their bill would ensure federal agencies won’t engage in “costly, and ultimately useless” reviews.

The bill was written by Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) along with Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and David Vitter (R-La.). Co-sponsors include Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). … [more]



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