The Trump Administration has continued to push to reform and deregulate throughout its first term. The latest effort involves needed reform of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Here is a discussion from Heritage Foundation of some of the Law’s many problems.
As with so many regulatory proposals, public comments are a part of the process and left-wing groups, in this case environmental groups, will turn out in full force to provide negative comments.
The following link allows YOU to make comments (they don’t require technical expertise at all). Below that you can see the RGF’s comments along with a link to our actual comments.
The Rio Grande Foundation is a non-profit public policy research organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our mission is to research and advocate for free market public solutions on public policy issues that will lead to a better New Mexico’s economy. A big issue facing New Mexicans and their economy involves overregulation.
While we all want a clean environment public policy must balance economic and environmental conditions. The Rio Grande Foundation believes that as currently enforced, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) suffers from arbitrary standards, politicized enforcement, and protracted litigation. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the potential environmental effects of public works projects and other major government actions.
President Trump’s proposed modernization of NEPA will maintain a clean environment while reducing the negative impact of red tape and unnecessary, costly regulation.
NEPA regulations have not been comprehensively updated in over 40 years. Meanwhile, the time taken to complete an environmental impact statement is now almost 5 years on average, and for highways has averaged over 7 years. Securing approval for roads, bridges, airports, railways, and waterways has been significantly hindered under the existing regulations. The NPRM would, among other changes, establish time limits of 2 years for completion of environmental impact statements and one year for completion of environmental assessments.
The primary thrust of the proposed NEPA revisions involves ensuring that opponents of various projects don’t use process-related issues in order to stall the process and prevent projects from moving forward. Obviously, not ALL proposed projects should be approved, but we strongly support the regulatory and decision making process being limited insofar as it can be used to prolong the process, not guide it to an ultimate conclusion.
New Mexicans will benefit from improved processes relating to roads and freeways, land and forest management. Its fast-growing energy sector will also benefit greatly in ways that continue to bring tax dollars into the State, further supporting America’s energy independence.
The proposed NEPA regulations are a reasonable, common sense approach to ensuring that environmental and economic concerns are balanced in a more thoughtful, timely fashion.