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Carper opposes Trump administration's National Environmental Policy Act changes

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, was joined by 13 senators in sending a letter Feb. 27 to the White House Council on Environmental Quality to voice their strong opposition to the Donald Trump administration’s draft rule that would fundamentally re-write the National Environmental Policy Act regulations, including by eliminating the requirement for federal agencies to consider cumulative impacts and indirect effects of projects and decisions.

In their letter, the senators write that this proposal would undermine 50 years of environmental progress and ignore the reality of climate change, leaving the American people at risk.

“Instead of heeding the direction of the courts, this proposal doubles down on a failing and illegal policy. The proposal directs federal agencies to disregard indirect effects and cumulative impacts in the NEPA process, thereby eliminating the established legal requirement to consider climate change in the federal decision-making process,” wrote the senators. “This is a hallmark of the Trump administration’s entrenched climate denial — and while that itself may come as no surprise — this rollback would also unlawfully overturn decades of well-established precedent, through Democratic and Republican Administrations alike.”

“Federal actions that trigger the NEPA process can impact generations, so it is imperative that cumulative environmental impacts, and direct and indirect climate effects more broadly, are included in the NEPA environmental review process,” the senators continued. “This is why we call on you to reject the proposed revisions and instead reinstate guidance to the federal agencies regarding how to address climate change in the NEPA process. As we examine NEPA’s legacy over the last 50 years, we cannot turn a blind eye to climate change, the greatest environmental challenge of our time.”

The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2uC3Ngp.