Press Release | January 9, 2020

White House works to cut public voices from big projects

The Trump administration today revealed a disastrous wish list of cuts to the nation’s bedrock environmental law — the National Environmental Policy Act — that will placate industry executives and lobbyists while stripping away the voices of the communities and the citizens who have the most at stake.

The White House’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to NEPA makes clear the Trump administration wants to remove the safeguards that have protected communities from projects that needlessly alter their lives and livelihoods, and taxpayers from funding unneeded political pork. 

Southern Environmental Law Center Senior Attorney Kym Hunter, who leads the team of attorneys defending NEPA, issued the following statement:

“For three years, the Trump administration has launched misguided crusades against this critical environmental protection on the baseless belief that NEPA holds up progress. The opposite is true. NEPA makes big projects better, and saves taxpayers money when it exposes wasteful and reckless political boondoggles. NEPA is the review that takes into account what is best for communities and neighborhoods, and that’s why big-industry executives are pushing the Trump administration for changes.”

The proposal, among other things, seeks to exempt categories of major projects from meaningful public review, and limits public participation in decision-making. It also seeks to prevent any consideration of climate change when planning large projects.

In the past few years, communities across the country have suffered stunning damage from record-setting hurricanes, storms and wildfires, all fueled in part by a changing climate. 

Click or copy the link for a video of Senior Attorney Kym Hunter explaining the basics of NEPA:

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Press Contacts

Kym Meyer

Litigation Director