Press Releases

Luetkemeyer, Comer Send Letter to Biden CEQ Blasting Reinstatement of Obama-Era NEPA Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter to the Biden administration's Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory regarding the Biden administration's proposal to reinstate burdensome Obama-era NEPA regulations. The proposed rule, Phase 1 of  2, will make sweeping reforms to the procedural provisions of NEPA; roll back commonsense revisions made in 2020; and restore provisions that led to immense delays in environmental reviews before 2020.

"The signatory Ranking Members of the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Oversight and Reform disagree with the agency’s certification of the 2021 proposed rule and believe its significant modifications will increase delays and paperwork; create more confusion about NEPA’s processes; and that small entities will be indirectly and adversely affected.  NEPA currently requires an examination of the direct and indirect socio-economic impacts of major federal actions. Since such actions could have a wide impact on small businesses, a change to the current NEPA standard could be deleterious.  Although this does not require CEQ to perform an RFA, modification of that rule could prove harmful to an agency’s full assessment of the impact of a major federal action as it performs the required analysis of environmental impacts under NEPA.  Unfortunately, the agency did not do so and instead engaged in arbitrary and capricious rulemaking,” wrote Luetkemeyer and Comer.

"The proposed rule is flawed, arbitrary, and capricious.  It would make unnecessary, sweeping reforms to the procedural provisions of NEPA; roll back commonsense revisions made in 2020; and restore provisions that led to immense delays in environmental reviews before 2020,” concluded Luetkemeyer and Comer.

Read the full letter to Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory here

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