Washington, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced legislation today that would prevent federal agencies from using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as a tool to fight climate change.
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently proposed guidance advising federal agencies to consider and evaluate climate change and greenhouse gas emissions during the NEPA process. This is alarming to farmers, ranchers and small businessmen in Eastern Washington who have already seen how federal agencies abuse NEPA by forcing them to spend valuable time and resources defending against junk lawsuits.
“Having NEPA force agencies and companies to consider the impact of an action on climate change could add a disastrous new layer of bureaucracy and slow economic development in the West,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “The result will be longer permitting lines, higher project costs, and more litigation. At a time when jobs are scarce and the economy IS vulnerable, we should be deconstructing economic barriers – not creating new ones.”
The legislation is patterned after a Senate bill introduced by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Inhofe (R-OK).