Trump admin writes itself a permission slip to ignore climate change and wreck the environment

The Trump White House’s Council on Environmental Quality is proposing changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that would not only make it easier to keep the public in the dark about government projects, but give federal agencies a permission slip to ignore how their own actions might contribute to climate change.

In short, NEPA makes the government consider how a project will affect the environment and gives the people who will have to live with the consequences a fair chance to weigh in on it. For example, NEPA prevents a federal agency from launching a drilling project or building a new road through delicate wildlife habitat on a whim; the agency would first needs to explain and justify its plan, including offering it up for public scrutiny and analyzing potential impacts.

The new Trump overhaul would put limits on public comment and environmental analysis, constricting the definitions and timelines for review of projects and allowing many projects to escape review altogether. It’s of a piece with numerous other policies pushed by the administration that would make it easier to pollute or degrade natural resources without oversight.

The new Trump overhaul would put limits on public comment and environmental analysis, constricting the definitions and timelines for review of projects and allowing many projects to escape review altogether. Significantly, the new proposals would also let agencies remove climate change from consideration when performing those analyses.

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