WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING: Environmental revision as bad as you’d expect

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING: Environmental revision as bad as you’d expect

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In what could be the administration’s broadest attack yet on federal environmental regulations, the Trump administration on Thursday proposed making it easier to approve major energy and infrastructure projects, including new highways and pipelines, without full consideration of their environmental impact or their effects on climate change. Billed as an effort to make the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act more efficient, the new rules would make it easier for many projects with significant detrimental environmental impacts to proceed without crucial reviews.

In truth, NEPA probably does need a tune-up. The current regulations date back to 1978 and have been amended only once since, in 1986. It’s reasonable to assume that all those years of experience have exposed flaws and shortcomings that could be addressed to improve and expedite the environmental review process. But the Trump administration, with its open denial of climate change and its industry-friendly policies aimed at expanding the production of fossil fuels, is not to be trusted with such a task.

The manufacturing industry, oil and gas producers and unions whose members work on such projects applauded the new rules, but others argued that they sacrifice the environment and undercut efforts to reduce the carbon emissions driving global warming.  

This isn’t a done deal. The new regulations will be subject to public comment for 60 days. As a matter of policy, greasing the skids for projects that pose tremendous risks to the health of the planet is foolish.

Los Angeles Times

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