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Statements from BPC’s Mackler & Nellenbach on Trump NEPA Final Rule

Washington, DC – The following are statements from Sasha Mackler, director of the energy project, and Michele Nellenbach, director of strategic initiatives at the Bipartisan Policy Center, regarding the White House Council on Environmental Quality rewrite of National Environmental Policy Act implementing regulations.

Said Mackler:

“Transitioning to a low-carbon economy will require reshaping our national infrastructure at a scale and pace unprecedented in the modern era. The administration’s NEPA reforms are steps in the right direction.  It is unfortunate that the White House is undermining support for these commonsense process improvements by appearing to diminish the urgency for climate action.

“The administration has put forward a set of helpful and necessary process reforms that maintain an avenue for stakeholder engagement. However, any effort to modernize environmental permitting must not downplay climate risks. A truly effective NEPA policy must marry process reform with a corresponding national strategy on climate. Absent this combination, litigation and delay will only increase.”

Said Nellenbach:

“NEPA’s environmental review and permitting process gives affected stakeholders and underrepresented voices a meaningful opportunity to engage and share concerns about projects. However, the process can be unnecessarily lengthy and costly. BPC’s Executive Council on Infrastructure identified regulatory delays as one of the key obstacles to private investment in American infrastructure projects.

“The administration’s update to the NEPA rules addresses several process delays by empowering key decision-makers to resolve interagency and intragovernmental disputes, increasing data collection and transparency, making simultaneous agency reviews the norm, and providing for more predictable and coordinated schedules.”

Sasha Mackler and Michele Nellenbach are available for interview.