Why NEPA matters for climate change and how Trump is gutting it.

In the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). climate change would no longer have to be taken into account when federal agencies assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects. 

NEPA is a bedrock environmental law that requires federal agencies to review the environmental impacts of their actions and consult the public before making a decision to move forward with a project.

Under the proposed regulation, agencies would no longer have to consider the “cumulative” consequences of new infrastructure. Recent court decisions have interpreted this requirement to study cumulative consequences as a mandate to study the effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions, rising sea levels, and other climate change-related impacts. 

With our planet warming at an alarming rate, we can’t afford these kinds of dangerous setbacks. We need to be considering climate impacts in planning for all our projects, which is why SEEC members will continue to fight back against this and other Trump Administration rollbacks.