As the world warms and people, wildlife and the natural environment suffer increasingly devastating impacts, the Trump administration is systematically erasing climate change from government regulations and policies.
The latest: In June 2019, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) requested comments on draft guidance on how federal agencies should consider climate when they evaluate federal actions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Incredibly, the phrase “climate change” does not appear in the document.
The intent could not be more clear: Federal agencies are encouraged to downplay and dismiss the risks of climate change, and to minimize consideration of greenhouse emissions in NEPA reviews. This is a fool’s errand.
I was the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for all eight years of the Obama administration, responsible for EPA’s central role in NEPA reviews by other federal agencies. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess environmental impacts before making decisions on major federal actions, like pipeline permits, the management of federal land and the commitment of federal funds for highway construction. I worked closely with CEQ as well as other federal agencies as they conducted their required careful analyses of the environmental impacts of federal actions. […]