WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, joined her colleagues in a letter—led by U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.)—to White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory demanding they adhere to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements and undergo the proper analysis and public comment period for the Biden administration’s goal of conserving at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030, otherwise known as “30x30.”
“To reach 30 percent by 2030, hundreds of millions of acres of land and water will be impacted. A program of this magnitude requires solid legal authority and a clear plan, yet the Administration has articulated neither, leaving our constituents in the dark. What is clear, however, is the Departments are implementing the 30x30 initiative without first analyzing the program’s public and environmental impact, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We are calling on you to refrain from any actions in the furtherance of 30x30 until a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been completed and the legal authority under which this major federal program is proceeding has been disclosed,” the senators wrote.
The letter argues 30x30, which despite the promises of transparency and consultation is moving forward without public input, constitutes a major federal action and is thus subject to NEPA to ensure federal agencies identify and carefully consider the program’s impact on the environment, economy, and those affected.
“Without full disclosure of the details of the 30x30 program, its environmental, budgetary, and legal impacts remain unknown and the public is left in the dark. This is hardly the open and transparent process the Administration promised,” the senators wrote.
The letter also requests the departments provide the exact legal authority the Biden administration is using to carry out this initiative by June 15, 2022.
“At minimum, it is the Administration’s obligation to provide a plan, legal justification, and venue for the public to participate,” the senators continued.
Joining Senators Capito, Cramer, and Marshall on the letter are: Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Click here to read the letter.
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