Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: The Senate’s Attack on Environmental Review Threatens Our Communities and Climate
Press Statement

STATEMENT: The Senate’s Attack on Environmental Review Threatens Our Communities and Climate

Washington, D.C. — Today, in an attempt to weaken bedrock environmental protections, the Senate passed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. This is an effort to block President Joe Biden from restoring and strengthening the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to identify any significant environmental, economic, social, or public health impacts that a project could have before moving forward. In response, Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for Energy and Environment Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

The Senate’s actions today threaten to undo the much-needed progress on restoring a robust environmental review process under the guise of “streamlining” federal decision-making. The House should reject this misguided effort. In reality, NEPA is not a barrier to project delivery but instead a crucial step to ensuring that decision-makers “look before they leap” into new projects that could negatively affect communities, increase pollution, or fail to withstand the impacts of climate change. NEPA gives the public a voice to raise concerns about polluting projects in their communities—projects often built in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color—while requiring industry to be transparent about the impacts their projects will have. Undermining NEPA will silence communities and only create more confusion for federal agencies, slowing down the buildout of the infrastructure this country so desperately needs, including the deployment of clean energy.

The real solution to improving the environmental review process is for Congress to secure the funding needed to effectively and thoughtfully implement NEPA by passing the Inflation Reduction Act.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.