WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, on the last day for the American people to provide public comment on the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)’s proposal that would drastically weaken implementation of the 50-year old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was joined by six colleagues in introducing a resolution (S. Res. 537) opposing the Trump Administration’s efforts and underscoring the historic and national importance of NEPA.
“NEPA enshrines democracy by giving the American people a voice to help decide the fate of federal decisions. For 50 years, NEPA has sought to ensure environmental protection, public health and the notion that the American people have a say in the federal decision-making process,” Senator Carper said in a speech on the Senate floor after introducing the resolution. “Just 60 days ago, the Trump Administration proposed a rule that would fundamentally change the NEPA regulations for the first time in its history.”
Last week, CEQ rejected a request from 167 members of Congress to extend the public comment period.
“To say I am disappointed with CEQ’s response to our concerns is an understatement. NEPA is a 50-year-old law but Americans have been given only 60 days to defend it,” Senator Carper continued. “NEPA reminds us that our government is one that is of the people, by the people and for the people. But this proposal and this process bear little resemblance to those words of Abraham Lincoln. Sadly, they make a mockery of them.”
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) joined Senator Carper in introducing the resolution.
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) led the introduction of a House resolution, along with House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Congressman A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).
The text of the resolution can be found here.