WASHINGTON – The American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC) announced today its support for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality’s final rule titled “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act,” which will increase the efficiency of the federal permitting process and reduce the time that it takes to safely construct oil and natural gas infrastructure projects, while protecting the environment.
“Modernizing and clarifying NEPA could not come at a better time for our country, as we are recovering from COVID-19,” said AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury. “NEPA permitting reforms will allow the U.S. to safely build energy infrastructure, provide job opportunities to American communities, and help expand our national economy.”
AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury testified at the Council on Environmental Quality’s public hearing on the Agency’s proposal to modernize NEPA in February, underscoring how updates could create a more efficient permitting process, increase consistency across federal agencies and clarify longstanding regulations.
AXPC members routinely engage in NEPA reviews as part of their business, and this extensive experience allows AXPC to provide a perspective that is particularly relevant to project-level NEPA analyses for development projects that are vital to the economy and national security of the United States.
“American energy companies adhere to the most stringent regulations in the world, and often go above and beyond legal and regulatory requirements to reduce our industry’s environmental footprint. The Administration’s modernization of NEPA will allow for continued energy production and exploration in an environmentally protective way, which will help attract investment and get these projects through the permitting process – things that are vital to our ability to help spur job creation and economic growth. CEQ’s modernization returns NEPA back to its initial purpose and the American people,” said Bradbury.
Reformed NEPA: codifies interagency cooperation among federal, state, and tribal groups; codifies Supreme Court precedent and provides a reasonable interpretation where courts are split; expands public participation; and facilitates compliance with NEPA through interagency coordination. It seeks to have an EIS completed within two years for projects and clarifies that climate impacts should be evaluated only to the extent they are caused directly by the project being evaluated. Importantly, the modernized rule gives meaning to every word in NEPA and more efficiently utilizes taxpayer dollars by providing better clarity for the private sector.
About the American Exploration and Production Council:
AXPC is a national trade association representing the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the United States. We lead the world in the cleanest and safest onshore production of oil and gas, while supporting millions of Americans in high-paying jobs and investing a wealth of resources in our communities. Learn more at https://www.axpc.org/