Monday, January 13, 2020
Thursday, January 9, President Trump announced a proposed rule to modernize and accelerate environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), so infrastructure can be built in a timely, efficient and more affordable manner.
"The purpose of NEPA is noble; its application, however, has gone off the rails. The action by the Council on Environmental Quality is the first step in bringing common sense to a process that has needlessly paralyzed decision-making. We can ensure that our views are well-informed and that the public is heard without tying ourselves in knots. CEQ is to be commended for seeking public comment on this initiative," said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.
Read the full press release from CEQ online.
Mike Dunleavy, Governor, Alaska: “I thank the Trump Administration for working to modernize and clarify the 40-year-old NEPA regulations. All Alaskans will benefit from an update to NEPA as it impacts many facets of our state, from construction of roads and highways, to energy projects, to land and forest management. We look forward to seeing this process unfold and the impact it will have on furthering Alaska’s opportunity for business and resource development projects within our state.”
Pete Ricketts, Governor, Nebraska: “Thank you to President Trump for his continued focus on cutting red tape and empowering states. Simplifying the NEPA process and making it more transparent will help states deliver the infrastructure we need to grow our communities in a more effective and more efficient manner.”
Doug Burgum, Governor, North Dakota: “No one cares more about North Dakota’s environment than the people who live here, but the 40-year-old NEPA process has become increasingly complex, cumbersome and time-consuming, resulting in unnecessary, multi-year delays and cost increases for key infrastructure projects including highways, pipelines and critical flood protection. We thank CEQ and the Trump administration for proposing common-sense reforms to modernize and streamline NEPA.”
Kevin Stitt, Governor, Oklahoma: “I applaud President Trump’s willingness to modernize and clarify the NEPA process. For far too long this framework has been used to create obstacles and cause unnecessary delays to important projects that are necessary to grow our economies, create jobs, and improve our quality of life. The Trump Administration’s effort to reform the NEPA process is consistent with our goals for the Great State of Oklahoma of promoting a prosperous economy and protecting our precious natural resources with a predictable, consistent and reasonable regulatory framework.”
Greg Abbott, Governor, Texas: “The review process as required by NEPA has historically lacked efficiency and clarity, and its burdensome system stifles economic development and opportunity. I applaud the Trump administration’s efforts and welcome an update and much-needed reforms to NEPA regulations. I am confident that this overhaul will lead to even greater prosperity throughout the United States -- and especially here in the Lone Star State.”
Mark Gordon, Governor, Wyoming: “Uncertainty is never good for proper development and it has been particularly problematic in Wyoming, especially in light of recent court rulings regarding NEPA-related greenhouse gas emission analyses. States like Wyoming need assurance that projects will be properly analyzed the first time around so that decisions on the ground can be made in a timely manner. I support CEQ’s efforts to streamline federal agency guidance under this proposed rule.”
Chris Edwards, Assemblyman, Nevada, House District 19: “Interstate 11 (I-11) will connect Phoenix to Las Vegas, the two largest cities in America not linked by a federal interstate highway. The first portion of I-11 opened a year ago in my district and we are extremely optimistic about this important infrastructure project. The future Intermountain West Corridor will use I-11 to connect the shipping ports in Southern Arizona to Nevada and existing interstates in the Northwest. An economic analysis found the I-11 corridor will create 250,000 permanent jobs and generate more than $20 billion for the U.S. economy. While the final route is still being determined, much of the project involves linking and expanding existing highways and interstates. The excessive costs of redundant NEPA analysis has slowed construction of this critical transportation corridor and ones like it across the country. The environmental analysis in Nevada alone is expected to take three years and cost $5 million. I applaud the Trump administration for taking action to reform the broken NEPA process and create a more efficient permitting system. This is long overdue! The President’s actions today are another common sense reform that will allow vital infrastructure projects to move forward safely and expeditiously in Nevada, Arizona and across America.”
Susan Beckman, State Representative, Colorado, House District 38: “This is good news. As an Arapahoe County Commissioner, I saw firsthand the layers of bureaucracy and red tape added to transportation projects. One intersection, I-25 and Arapahoe Road, was bogged down for years with redundant, expensive and inefficient NEPA requirements. These requirements did nothing to protect the environment and only added time and massive expense to the project. I am so pleased with this Administration for streamlining the process for needed transportation projects without jeopardizing our environment. This will save time, money and allow local and state elected officials to focus on real environmental concerns.”
Leland Pollock, Commissioner, Garfield County, Utah: “In the Dixie National Forest, issues with the NEPA process led to the eventual shutdown of our local timber mill, costing 400 good-paying jobs in our community. Special interest groups were able to sue over minor NEPA technicalities, harming our local economy. This also led to massive fuel build ups that made it possible for the Brian Head Fire to burn more than 71,000 acres of forestland, destroying 13 homes. It also decimated the drinking water supply for Panguitch, Utah, which was supplied by a spring system that functioned flawlessly for over 100 years before the fire. It is imperative that the NEPA process be streamlined to prevent these tragedies moving forward and to improve the health of our landscapes.”
Joel Bousman, Commissioner, Sublette County, Wyoming: “In Wyoming we have had mixed experiences with NEPA analyses. It took the U.S. Forest Service over 14 years to complete the NEPA process to renew grazing on the Upper Green River Grazing Allotment. This process took far too long. On the flipside, last year Sublette County and the Sublette County Conservation District did a NEPA analysis for the Bureau of Land Management to provide our field manager the authority to issue temporary nonrenewable animal unit months. The process took only two weeks, withstood scrutiny and is now authorized.
As a county commissioner, I know firsthand how cumbersome and inefficient NEPA analyses can be, which prevents important work from being done on our nation’s public lands. The new NEPA streamlining provisions unveiled today will help Sublette County and the federal government to achieve those land management goals while ensuring we have the best scientific data available to guide our decisions.”
Ray Scott, Colorado Senator, Senate District 7: “Revamping of NEPA has been needed for a decade or more as the requirements have slowed down much needed infrastructure for broadband expansion, roads and natural resource development. President Trump kept his promise to reduce regulations and these changes will certainly put more Americans to work. Colorado needs all the help we can get to advance new infrastructure projects to support our fast paced growth.”
Todd Nash, Commissioner, Wallowa County, Oregon: “Federal staff has been overburdened with the ever-increasing length and detail of NEPA documents with fewer successes to show for their efforts. Timber, grazing, recreation, and mining management on U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands have suffered at the hands of more regulation, litigation, and stagnation. As a county commissioner in a county with over 50% of its land base managed by federal agencies these new policies are exactly what is needed. The emphasis on the social and economic needs of our communities has been overshadowed by regulatory agencies that have single-minded priorities. I'm looking forward to healthier forests and communities.”
Greg Chilcott, Commissioner, Ravalli County, Montana: “These reforms are a step forward for Ravalli County. We will be able to protect our environment into the future while enhancing our infrastructure and our economy while increasing the resiliency of our national forests.”
Randy Maluchnik, Commissioner, Carver County, Minnesota: “Streamlining the permitting process is a win for the Carver County economy. We welcome the reforms offered by the administration, which will allow us to create and sustain our infrastructure, grow our economy and continue to protect our environment.”
Christian Leinbach, Commissioner, Berks County, Pennsylvania: “NEPA is exemplary of a law (and accompanying regulations promulgated by the executive agencies that must implement the law’s intent) that no one could argue with at face value. It is only when enmeshed in the details of the process that it becomes apparent how overreaching the law is. Reform of the process must include consideration of the reasonableness of costs of compliance, the tangible/physical existence of the potential impacts, and the need for expediency in completion of public projects that benefit the common good.”
Brian Bremner, County Engineer, Garfield County, Utah: “In December 2011, as a result of the Dixie Motorized Travel Plan that closed 75 percent of existing forest roads to public travel, Garfield County, Utah filed a Data Quality and Regulatory Flexibility Act Challenge to overturn the decision. The U.S. Forest Service responded by agreeing to conduct what they called a “Need for Change NEPA” action if the county would withdraw/suspend the challenge. The new NEPA process began in spring of 2012 and has been a fiasco ever since. In spite of overwhelming public input asking for roads to be re-opened, the Forest Services has thrown up road blocks every step of the way.
Now, in January 2020 – nearly eight years after the initiation of the NEPA process – the Forest Service has yet to produce a viable alternative or a draft alternative and has completely failed in its commitment. In fact, we hear that it is likely the Forest Supervisor is cancelling the NEPA project altogether, leaving us exactly where we were eight years ago with a completely inadequate transportation plan.
It is a classic example of a federal agency’s inability to complete NEPA in a timely manner.”
Myron Ebell, Director, Center for Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute: “The administration’s proposed reforms of NEPA regulations are a big step toward correcting the worst abuses of the environmental permitting process. Over the decades, bad court decisions and bureaucratic laziness have turned NEPA from a sensible tool to consider the environmental impacts of major projects into a weapon used to delay projects to death.
American infrastructure lags other developed countries because getting a NEPA permit and successfully defending it from multiple legal challenges takes many years and often over a decade. In no other country does it regularly take as long to permit an infrastructure project. The same is true of major natural resource projects, which is why, for example, new mines are opened much more often in Canada than in the United States.
We hope the administration will take the next step and propose needed legislative reforms to NEPA for Congress to consider.”
Thomas Pyle, President, American Energy Alliance: “I’ve never questioned the merits behind NEPA and no one is honestly talking about a full repeal, but it is undeniably outdated and being abused to stop economic growth in the misleading rally cry of environmental, climate change protection. It needs to be fixed and we have an Administration bold enough to address its ineffective process. The mere fact that President Trump is attempting to modernize one of the most inefficient, growth-slowing, infrastructure-stopping laws is victory alone.
Americans need (and deserve) updated infrastructure to get them safely where they need to go and ensure affordable, reliable energy arrives to their cities, communities, businesses, and homes. Radical environmental groups have twisted the intent behind NEPA and leveraged the legal system to their advantage in a coordinated effort to slow and stop progress and I welcome the news that the Administration’s plans stop them.”
Ben Lieberman, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute: “The original purpose of NEPA was to require a timely environmental assessment of major projects, not to substantially delay or block them entirely. But in the hands of environmentalist litigants, this statute has morphed into a project killer which has recently been used to stop fossil fuel production and infrastructure based on climate change concerns and thus threatens to derail the Trump administration’s energy dominance agenda. This proposed rule restores NEPA’s original intent of taking environmental concerns into consideration without destroying jobs or harming the economy.”
Anne Bradbury, CEO, American Exploration & Production Council: “Our country is at a pivotal time for American energy; all phases of energy production need efficient, effective and streamlined processes to ensure that we can meet our growing energy demands and protect our national security interests. The Administration’s modernization of NEPA removes bureaucratic barriers that were stifling construction of key infrastructure projects needed for U.S. producers to deliver energy in a safe and environmentally protective way.
Updating NEPA will expedite projects for all sources of energy - pipelines, power lines, wind turbines and oil and gas wells - and will provide the energy needed to continue moving our economy forward.”
Erik G. Milito, President, National Ocean Industries Association: “The Administration’s proposal is a perfect example of thoughtful and constructive policy changes that serve to effectively balance economic and environmental considerations. We can have U.S. investments, U.S. job growth and environmental stewardship. NEPA modernization is a smart way to drive federal decision makers to these attainable and complementary objectives.”
Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: “Whether on public lands or private, ranchers provide critical improvements to rangelands and infrastructure. This includes maintaining fences, water structures, and roads, and reducing fuel loads that cause catastrophic wildfires. Approachable and implementable NEPA rules are necessary for all cattle producers to ensure that they have access to important USDA programs. When NEPA stands in the way of progress, both ranchers and rural communities suffer. Wildlife that depend on water sources, individuals who utilize roadways, and even communities at risk of wildfire are impacted. We need to ensure those common-sense practices that benefit our rangelands are not the subject of unnecessary federal regulation.”
Terry O’Sullivan, General President, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA): “For the hard-working members of LIUNA, who have had their livelihoods put on hold as infrastructure projects become mired in a review process that is needlessly long, complex, and lacks transparency, the administration’s anticipated NEPA reforms are a welcome change.”
Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association: “The American Wind Energy Association supports improving the National Environmental Policy Act review process. While America’s wind energy industry supports the fundamental goals of NEPA to appropriately consider potential environmental and climate impacts, the NEPA process has not been revised in decades. As a result, infrastructure projects, including land-based and offshore wind energy and transmission development, have encountered unreasonable and unnecessary costs and long project delays. It is time to update and modernize the permitting process, which would both strengthen our economy and enhance environmental stewardship. We look forward to reviewing the proposed rule and working with the Administration to advance infrastructure permitting reform.
Reducing permitting delays and uncertainties associated with responsible wind energy infrastructure development will create jobs, increase deployment of clean, reliable American-made domestic power; expand manufacturing opportunities for workers in local communities (especially in rural and coastal areas); add to local tax revenue; and support broader infrastructure development, such as port revitalization from the development of offshore wind facilities.”
Don L. (Bebo) Lee, President, New Mexico Federal Lands Council: “Reconsidering NEPA regulations is long overdue. We have been requesting this review for nearly 20 years. Our members have traveled to Congress to testify on the need for change and we are glad to see it coming.”
Scott Jones, Authorized Representative, Off-Road Business Association: “ORBA welcomes discussions with the CEQ to make NEPA more effective and efficient. ORBA believes this will benefit all recreation opportunities on public lands and improve protection of resources. The NEPA process has proven to be a costly burden to the maintenance and operation of basic recreational opportunities. Minor projects are often made more complex by a lack of clarity around the NEPA process and delayed unnecessarily for extensive analysis rather than solving simple challenges. These delays are critical to the many small communities that rely on the economic contributions from recreation."
Randell Major, President, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association: “Members of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association couldn’t be more excited about the first new NEPA regulations in the last 40 years. NEPA issues have un-necessarily plagued our members for the past few decades. Conservation is key to the livestock community, but federal regulations should not be a vehicle to drive ranch families from the land.”
Lisa B. Nelson, CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council: “We are excited that the Trump administration will streamline the review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) so that Americans wishing to build modern infrastructure will receive clear answers from the federal government in a timely manner. The world has changed a lot since 1978 when the White House Council on Environmental Quality first issued NEPA regulations and outdated rules have created red tape. From broadband internet and cellphone towers to water projects and power lines, all types of infrastructure important to our modern lives will benefit from more a timely and efficient NEPA process.”
Jason Hayes, Director of Environmental Policy, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy: “It is high time an administration had the courage to update the NEPA process and to move our environmental policy out of the 1970’s. Our current process is fixated on a destructive style of political environmentalism that stifles productive activity with bureaucratic process, fear, and litigation. Instead, America should be relying on our improved understanding of environmental science and using new technologies and management techniques to help provide us with necessary resources and infrastructure improvements.
For example, whatever one believes about the role of climate in the growing challenge of wildfire, no one can ignore the fact that the NEPA process has become a means of hamstringing forest managers and stopping them from completing essential forest management activities. Effectively locked out of the nation’s forests by litigation and procedural delays, we all watch as millions of acres burn, people and wildlife are displaced or killed, and billions in public and private property are lost each year.
Updating the NEPA process will not only help to address this growing issue in our nation’s forests, it will also help to address similar delays in the development and use of essential domestic energy and mineral reserves. Updating NEPA will also help us to improve and expand on essential infrastructure projects like pipelines, roads, bridges, and 5G wireless. This administration’s efforts to take on this daunting task should be applauded by all Americans as they will free American workers and invigorate our economy, while still maintaining essential environmental protections.”
Mandy Gunasekara, Founder, Energy 45: “The Trump Administration’s proposed updates to the NEPA process are a breath of regulatory fresh air. They demonstrate a thoughtful and balanced approach to advancing important environmental protections while ensuring the process cannot be abused to endlessly delay important projects.”
Bill Imbergamo, Executive Director, Federal Forest Resource Coalition: “For too long, the National Environmental Policy Act has been misused to slow down and stymie needed forest management on our public lands. As a result, Federal forests have been left in an unhealthy, overstocked condition that has made them vulnerable to insects, disease, and wildfire. By streamlining NEPA, the Administration is working to protect our environment and our economy while reducing unnecessary delays and redundant analysis. We look forward to supporting this important set of reforms.”
Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation: “Farmers and ranchers rely on the land, some directly on federal forests and rangelands, so keeping them healthy and productive is critical to us. But current NEPA regulations have become an obstacle instead of an instrument for responsible management. The government has reached a point of analysis paralysis, which serves no one well, least of all the environment. Updating these 40-year-old regulations is smart government.”
Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union: “With Congress in seemingly perpetual gridlock, this administration has taken the bull by the horns to untangle a bureaucratic mess that has stalled needed infrastructure projects for years. What was once an effort to assure that a project does not do serious harm to the environment has, over 40 years, become the instrument of ideologically motivated groups to put a stranglehold on progress. This long overdue update to streamline the permitting process will be welcome news to those who believe fixing our crumbling infrastructure should not be held hostage to NEPA.”
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform: “NEPA regulations slowed down infrastructure projects under the Obama administration, creating an average delay of four years for needless paperwork--contrary to CEQ's guidance under the Reagan administration limiting the permitting process to one year. It should never take four years for the government to issue a permit to build a bridge. Crucial infrastructure projects should receive their environmental review in a timely manner and be based solely on the merits of the project. Today’s proposal from CEQ is a significant step forward.”
Rich Nolan, President and CEO, National Mining Association: “The mining industry is all too familiar with the project delays and escalating costs associated with NEPA compliance. Our permitting process is broken, and NEPA’s historical problems play a big part in the unnecessary obstacles standing in the way of the responsible use of our natural resources. Today’s action is a concrete step in the right direction. The proposal reflects the original intent of NEPA, which is to require a hard look at the environmental impacts of major federal projects, not to stop projects in their tracks.”
Kathleen Sgamma, President, Western Energy Alliance: “For too long, NEPA has become a source of endless delay rather than a tool for helping the government make better, more environmentally sensitive decisions, as originally intended when the law was passed. The new regulations will enable responsible projects to move forward while ensuring environmental protection. Oil and natural gas companies long ago adopted an environmental ethic that guides all they do. By enabling companies to move forward with projects that mitigate impacts, this NEPA rule enables environmental protection along with job creation and economic opportunity.”
Greg Ugalde, Chairman, National Association of Home Builders: “The plan to reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the most recent example of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce harmful regulations that hurt small businesses and impede economic growth. Updating NEPA will streamline the federal permitting process and allow badly needed transportation and infrastructure projects to move forward. In turn, this will build strong communities and support a thriving housing market.”
Michele Stanley, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association: “Years-long delays in permitting infrastructure projects, often caused by duplicative agency actions and unnecessary lawsuits harm many communities ability to construct roads, bridges, highways, airports, and all types of public works projects. That is why the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association is pleased with the Administration’s ongoing work to streamline unnecessary permitting process and supports this draft rule which brings much needed modernization and clarity to the NEPA process-- while still maintaining strong environmental protections. Today’s action is a critical step in ensuring our nation rebuilds our infrastructure in a more timely manner.”
Ben Shepperd, President, Permian Basin Petroleum Association: “These overdue NEPA regulatory reforms are an important step in the advancement of effective and efficient energy exploration and development with a focus on actual environmental protection. Such reforms will provide additional tools in pursuit of energy independence while maintaining critical environmental protections and the conservation of natural resources required by law. The members of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association have long believed that environmental stewardship and energy production are not mutually exclusive. We greatly appreciate the administration’s leadership on this important matter.”
Mark Compton, Executive Director, American Exploration & Mining Association: “The American Exploration & Mining Association applauds CEQ for today’s much-needed proposal to modernize and clarify its NEPA regulations. “Simply put, NEPA is broken. While a NEPA analysis has become ‘standard operating procedure’ for our members, it also has become increasingly more cumbersome, time consuming and expensive. NEPA is no longer the planning and decision-making tool it was designed to be. Instead, it has become the tool used by obstructionist groups who oppose responsible and lawful mineral development on federal public lands. Reforming the NEPA process and creating a more efficient permitting system are critical to improving the competitiveness of the domestic mining industry, job creation, and decreasing our reliance on foreign sources of energy and minerals.”
Paul Griffin, Executive Director, Energy Fairness: “Investing the time to modernize NEPA regulations after 40 years will give Federal land managers the tools they need to prevent the cataclysmic wildfires we’ve seen in California and the West in recent years. This investment can only yield dividends through fewer forced power outages and overall enhanced electricity reliability and affordability.”
Dan Savickas, Regulatory Policy Manager, FreedomWorks Foundation: “The most resounding successes of this administration have been the rollback and reform of outdated, unnecessary, burdensome regulations. NEPA is yet another example of government putting red tape where it doesn't belong. These increasingly complex rules have been in place for almost five decades. We applaud the administration for initiating this overdue reform and look forward to the possibilities under a simpler framework.”
Diane Katz, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage: “The Administration’s proposed reforms of the NEPA target some of the worst regulatory barriers that inflate the costs of repairing the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and railways. The streamlining provisions, if enacted, would reduce project delays and expedite the benefits of modern—and safer—infrastructure. In fact, the NEPA is entirely out of sync with current environmental, political, social, and economic realities, and outright repeal would not make a whit of difference to the environment or public health.”
Paul Goranson, Chief Operating Officer, Energy Fuels: “Updating the NEPA process is vital to any new project investment, and what CEQ has proposed places accountability for an efficient and transparent process back on a single lead agency while streamlining the current duplicative and complex process that exists today. Regulatory certainty in NEPA process is necessary to assure that both private and public investment in new infrastructure and projects can meet timelines and expectations for taxpayers and investors. This is the first real revision of the NEPA process that incorporates statutes and regulations that have been enacted since NEPA was enacted over 40 years ago. These revisions are desperately needed to keep investment in America. The complex and duplicative regulatory process that the NEPA process has become is sending investment for new projects overseas for investment in countries. Countries, such as Canada, with regulations that are similar to the President’s ‘One Federal Decision’ executive order are receiving investment and growing their business.”
Rick Manning, President, Americans for Limited Government: “The Trump administration’s proposed rule to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations is timely and important. America cannot compete in the 21st century digital age when common sense infrastructure needs are effectively derailed by a regulatory regime which often takes the better part of a decade to satisfy. The streamlined system outlined by the proposed rule protects the environment while taking away barriers which are more about stopping needed growth than protecting the environment.”
Matthew Chase, Executive Director/CEO, National Association of Counties: “As committed stewards of the environment with significant public safety and infrastructure responsibilities, counties support common-sense reforms to federal permitting and regulations. We welcome the administration’s focus on streamlining the permitting process, fostering conditions for economic growth and strengthening our nation’s infrastructure at the local level. We will continue to work with our federal partners to achieve our shared environmental, economic and infrastructure goals.”
Christian Reece, Executive Director, Club 20: “The modernization of NEPA is long overdue and Club 20 applauds the Council on Environmental Quality for putting forward a commonsense proposal to streamline these extremely arduous and costly regulations. Club 20 believes the more efficient and effective processes being implemented by the administration will lead to better decision making while ensuring the prudent protection of environmental concerns.”
James Edwards, Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights: “Property rights conservatives applaud the White House’s proposed NEPA reforms. They’re long overdue. NEPA environmental reviews have grown longer and longer, and slower and slower — thus denying exercise of one’s property rights through what amount to regulatory takings. The proposed regulatory relief will speed up these reviews, streamline them, reduce associated costs and, importantly, increase America’s industrial competitiveness without sacrificing bonafide conservation concerns. This regulatory reform across the federal government strengthens private property rights and respects property owners’ decisions on how to enjoy the fruits of their labor.”
Dan Keppen, Executive Director of the Family Farm Alliance: "We are reviewing the proposed rule with an eye towards seeing how it corrects and re-balances the significant negative impacts to our Western farmers that have resulted from past federal implementation of NEPA and other environmental laws."
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, the Arizona Mining Association: In Arizona, the Ray Land Exchange is the poster child for NEPA reform. It shouldn’t take 25 years to complete the environmental process for an existing mine expansion. Especially, when this commonsense land exchange consolidates multiple checkerboards of lands, benefits taxpayers, increases protections for plants and wildlife, expands recreation and hunting access, and creates good-paying jobs in rural America. We all want to protect the environment and the U.S. has the highest standards in the world. But let’s stop throwing the baby out with the bath water. I applaud the Trump administration for taking action to fix a broken process that —for decades—has been unnecessarily hamstringing job creation, stifling investment and preventing important infrastructure projects.”
Ray Beck, Chairman, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado: “While AGNC supports the concept of assessing environmental impacts prior to Federal decisions being made, the NEPA process has become much more onerous than was originally envisioned. The current NEPA process is complex and time consuming, the proposed CEQ changes are common sense modifications that will promote more timely, effective and efficient decision making utilizing current technologies and practices. These changes will be positive for local governments, industry as well as land management agencies and our public lands.”