DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today submitted public comments to the White House Council on Environmental Quality supporting proposed updates to regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The oil and natural gas trade association requested the proposed rule be expeditiously finalized, with some targeted revisions. The agency deadline is today for public comment letters.
“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,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “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,” Sgamma concluded.
The Alliance summarized in its letter, “The NEPA process has become far removed from its original intent, as passed by Congress, to provide decision makers with better environmental information to enable more environmentally sensitive federal projects. In practice, NEPA has instead become a weapon used by activist environmental groups to prevent federal agencies from approving projects under their jurisdiction, thus impacting agencies’ ability to carry out their statutory obligations for the benefit of the America people. NEPA has become a way to delay indefinitely or even halt oil and natural gas development, pipelines, roads, bridges, water projects, and other vital infrastructure, even when the projects have mitigated impacts.”
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