Press Releases

WSJ Editorial: Reimposed NEPA Regulations “Means Death by a Thousand Regulatory Cuts” for Infrastructure Projects

Washington, D.C., April 21, 2022 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
f t # e

In case you missed it, a Wall Street Journal editorial, “How to Kill American Infrastructure on the Sly,” calls out the Biden Administration’s dubious claim that its recently announced reimposition of outdated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations will provide more regulatory certainty.  “Instead, they will cause more litigation and delays that raise construction costs, if they don’t kill projects outright,” according to the editorial.

The editorial goes on to say, “While the 1970 law was intended to prevent environmental disasters, it has become a weapon to block development.  The Trump Administration sought to fast-track projects by limiting NEPA reviews to environmental effects that are directly foreseeable—e.g., how a pipeline’s construction would affect a stream it crosses.

“Some liberal judges, however, have interpreted NEPA broadly to require the study of effects that indirectly result from a project such as CO2 emissions. Now the Biden Administration is mandating this….  This means death by a thousand regulatory cuts for many projects….

“The rule’s obvious intent is to make it harder to build pipelines, roads and other infrastructure that would enable more U.S. oil and gas production, even as the Administration makes phony gestures to reduce energy prices.”

Click here to read the full editorial from the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this week, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) said this about the Biden Administration’s NEPA rollback rule: “This rule to reimpose outdated NEPA regulations couldn’t come at a worse time.  The Nation continues to deal with various crises the President’s policies have exacerbated – from inflation, to the supply chain, to American energy independence.  Now the Administration is moving backwards on much needed, commonsense NEPA reforms, which will only delay important projects, drive up costs, and further erode any value from the infrastructure law.”

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans have championed various efforts to streamline the review process for infrastructure projects, and will continue to work for these commonsense reforms.