White House Delays Agency Changes To Environmental Law By 2 Years

(RoyalPatriot.com )- In 2020, the federal Council on Environmental Quality finalized new rules for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which were to go into effect on September 14, 2020. This was the first major revision to NEPA in over 40 years.

The purpose of the updated rules was to streamline the NEPA process on environmental impact statements and to shorten delays caused both by the lengthy decision-making processes and litigation.

The Council on Environmental Quality had found that, on average, it takes 4.5 years to complete a NEPA environmental impact statement often resulting in many projects taking more than ten years to make it through the complete process.

The rules update is designed to streamline and shorten the procedure by approximately two years, and government departments were given until September 2021 to implement the changes.

The National Environmental Policy Act, initially passed in 1969, requires environmental reviews ahead of such projects as pipelines, highways, drilling, and other major actions on public lands.

In other words, infrastructure projects.

By shortening the time to get projects through the process, the Trump Administration was speeding up much-needed infrastructure work within the US.

However, this week, the President who has made infrastructure a central priority in his first months in office just tossed a wrench in the rules changes.

On Monday, June 28, the Biden White House’s Council on Environmental Quality announced an interim final rule granting government departments an extra two extra years to implement the proposed rules change – in large part because the Biden CEQ intends to make changes to the Trump-era rule.

Their reasoning for the delay is clear. Why spend the time and effort to implement the Trump rule when the Biden White House plans to change it?

This is par for the course with the Biden Administration.

Every policy advanced by President Trump, no matter how beneficial it is for US interests, is being undermined or revoked.

Biden’s entire presidency thus far has been defined by “If Trump did it, it’s got to go.” Even if it is something central to Biden’s agenda, like infrastructure.