Washington, DC—Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, along with Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, introduced today S. 3230, the NEPA Certainty Act, with several cosponsors including Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R- ID), Bob Bennett (R-UT), and Pat Roberts (R-KS).
The NEPA Certainty Act ensures that federal agencies implementing the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) won’t engage, or be forced to engage, in costly, and ultimately useless, determinations about the global warming impacts of individual projects, such as highways and clean energy power plants. It also helps reduce the flood of activist-inspired litigation designed to change NEPA into a global warming prevention statute.
As the Obama Administration admits, it is exceedingly difficult to assess the climate change impacts of individual federal actions, such as permitting new energy production. Such assessments under NEPA would provide no meaningful information for the public; instead, they would encourage more litigation and seemingly endless bureaucratic delays. These legal obstacles can block road construction, domestic energy production, and other similar economic activities. As a result, Americans seeking work lose significant new job opportunities that could help alleviate the nation’s unemployment crisis.
Senator Inhofe: “The attempt to use NEPA to fight global warming won’t help achieve the purpose of NEPA. Requiring federal agencies to assess the global climate change impacts from building a road will only block construction of the road and the jobs and economic activity that go with it, with no discernible impact on global climate. The NEPA Certainty Act will put a stop to this and give employers, including small businesses, greater certainty in their hiring and economic planning.”
Senator Barrasso: “This Administration has taken every opportunity to make life more complicated for Americans and their employers. Having the Administration use NEPA to do the impossible task of determining how an individual project in America will impact global climate change is just the latest example. We need to make it easier for businesses across our country to start new projects and create new jobs. Our bill does this by blocking this new Washington intrusion.”
Senator Vitter: “As it stands, NEPA is subject to frequent abuse by radical environmentalists who want to use litigation to impose their agenda on federal agencies. Our bill seeks to prevent that abuse, which often hinders economic development by interfering with basic functions such as the permitting of new power plants.”