Washington, DC – On October 6, 2021, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released new proposed rules for updating the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Xan Fishman, director of energy policy and carbon management, and Andy Winkler, director of infrastructure and housing, releases the following statement:
“The Bipartisan Policy Center strongly believes in improving the rules and guidelines governing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. Decarbonizing our economy will require a massive buildout of clean infrastructure at a pace that our permitting system is not currently designed to handle. Additional benefits of a more efficient permitting system include increased economic growth, reduced project costs, advancements in environmental justice, and increased quality of life for all Americans. Some important improvements to this system are included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“We are pleased to see the Biden administration’s recently announced phase 1 NEPA proposed rule, particularly in restoring clarity on climate change assessments. The more impactful update to NEPA rules will come with the administration’s phase 2 proposal.
“Consistent with the recent recommendations from BPC’s Smarter, Cleaner, Faster Infrastructure Task Force and building off the work of Executive Council on Infrastructure, we hope CEQ keeps the bipartisan and well-supported sections of the 2020 rules around shorter review times, improved federal agency coordination, reduced duplication of effort, and transparency on permit schedule progress. NEPA requirements need to be clear and efficient—our ability to avoid the worst effects of climate change depend on it.”
Xan Fishman and Andy Winkler are available for comment.