This is the last week to comment on Trump’s latest plan to to ram through climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects without public comment or environmental review.
If you haven’t heard, Trump’s latest scam is to fundamentally alter the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is a one of America’s oldest environmental laws, created in the 1970s and 80s along with the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, all of which Trump is also trying to undermine.
Where the Endangered Species, Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts protect specific resources — like animals, water and air — NEPA regulates how any infrastructure project is reviewed by the federal government. Fundamentally, it is supposed to say that you can’t build a new pipeline, power plant, or other infrastructure project without considering the impact on our environment and giving the public a chance to consider those impacts too.
Trump want’s to do away with that – and is proposing that climate impacts, in particular, are no longer studied or reviewed. It’s not exactly surprising coming from Trump’s team — but it is incredibly dangerous. Trump’s NEPA rollback would not only exclude climate impacts from being considered, they would silence frontline communities by eliminating town-hall meetings and public comment periods.
The window for us to take radical action that averts climate catastrophe is rapidly closing. With less than 10 years to overhaul our economy and society, we need more tools to asses and report on the climate impacts of every infrastructure project, not less. And as we’ve seen from Standing Rock to West Virginia, not to mention the ongoing human rights violations against the Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation in Canada this is no time to cut public comment or remove indigenous consent from the decision making process.
The comment period closes this week, but there’s still time to get your statement in. If enough of us speak out, we have a chance to delay Trump’s rollback, and we strengthen the case of our friends who are suing the Trump administration in court. If we can delay this disastrous plan even by a few months, a new president can choose to not only stop Trump’s deadly deregulation, but invest in the opposite; Strengthening NEPA so that it is an even more vibrant and accessible tool to stop the buildout of fossil fuel infrastructure and kickstart a Green New Deal.