I received the following information via email from the Duke Environmental Leadership program today.
White House may issue order to expand NEPA
The Obama administration may soon issue an executive order adding climate change to the list of factors federal agencies must take into account when evaluating projects and policies.
Environmentalists have pushed for the expansion of the 40-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which currently requires agencies to consider environmental factors such as land use, biodiversity and air quality.
“People will think longer and harder and smarter about what they build when they understand that the environment around them is changing,” said David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel at the Sierra Club.
Business groups have opposed the revision, saying the stricter requirements will slow down federal approvals and ultimately hurt the economy. Some state and federal agencies already consider climate impact when analyzing projects.
“Requiring analysis of climate change impacts during the NEPA process … will slow our economic recovery while providing no meaningful environmental benefits,” wrote Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R) and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R) in an October letter to Nancy Sutley, head of the White House Council on
“Projects across the nation are already experiencing delays or being canceled due to inappropriate and inefficient implementation and litigation from existing environmental regulations,” they added.
Also, if you are interested in learning more about climate change issues and NEPA, the DEL Program will be holding the upcoming course “Considering Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change under NEPA,” March 3-5, 2010. See this website for more information and registration: http://nicholas.duke.edu/del/continuinged/greenhousegasMar10.html