NEPA Reform Is Needed In Order To Power Our Country

NEPA Reform Is Needed In Order To Power Our Country

January 10, 2020

Yesterday, the Trump administration proposed a rule to reform the current National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in order to speed federal reviews of pipeline and other infrastructure projects.

Members of both sides of the aisle have acknowledged the need for modernizing the current permitting process. However, Democrats and environmentalist groups attacked the proposed changes that would help build out the infrastructure needed for their envisioned clean energy projects. The Bipartisan Policy Center said in an official statement on the proposed rule “the administration’s constructive proposals are being colored by its irresponsible position on climate change.”

The Washington Examiner reports:

“When you think about all of the infrastructure that needs to be financed, permitted, and built to drastically reshape our energy system, there is no doubt our current regulatory framework is not designed to facilitate that kind of transition,” said Sasha Mackler, director of the Energy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

At least some clean energy industry groups agree.

Amy Farrell, senior vice president of government and public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association, said NEPA had hindered the construction of wind farms and interstate power lines that could transport renewable power from rural producing areas to urban consuming ones.

“It is time to update and modernize the permitting process,” Farrell said. “Infrastructure projects, including land-based and offshore wind energy and transmission development, have encountered unreasonable and unnecessary costs and long project delays.”

According to S&P Global Platts:

In December, the National Petroleum Council, an industry organization charged with advising the energy secretary on oil and gas issues, said that without reform of NEPA, permitting and construction of pipelines may be unable to keep pace with demand.

In a previous blog post, Power the Future reported on the effects New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to veto the construction of several much-needed pipelines had on the state. Energy shortages and rises in the price of energy will occur on a nationwide scale, affecting every American if we can’t come into agreement on reforming NEPA to limit permitting delays for the vital infrastructure projects needed across the country. It’s time for the eco-left to work with their colleagues to improve the lives of our citizens rather than keep playing their completely partisan game.