It is one of the biggest deregulatory actions of the president’s tenure and comes at the cost of greatly narrowing the use of one of the country’s landmark environmental laws, especially assessments of how developments could exacerbate the climate crisis.
The proposed rule says federal agencies would not need to factor in the “cumulative impacts” of a project, which could include its impact on climate change, making it easier for major fossil fuel projects to sail through the approval process and avoid legal challenges.
“For the first time in over 40 years today we are issuing a new rule under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to completely overhaul the dysfunctional bureaucratic system that has created these massive obstructions,” Trump said at the White House on Thursday.
Trump’s efforts to cut regulatory red tape have been praised by the industry.
Trump, a commercial real estate developer before becoming president, frequently complained that the NEPA permitting process took too long.