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Dingell Testifies Against Trump Administration NEPA Rollbacks

Washington, February 25, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) made public testimony at the Council on Environmental Quality in opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposed rollbacks to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“Let us be clear – these changes do not serve the interest of the American public at large,” Dingell testified. “Instead, they prioritize a narrow set of special interests who will disregard the environmental well-being of the American people if it meets their short-term financial needs. All Americans deserve the ability to have a voice in federal decision making, and I urge the Council on Environmental Quality to reject the proposed changes by this administration to NEPA that would silence communities across the country, and weaken our ability to protect clean air, clean water, and public health.”

Dingell led the introduction of a House resolution opposing changes proposed by the Trump Administration to make significant rollbacks to NEPA.

Dingell’s full testimony as prepared for delivery is available below:

Testimony for CEQ NEPA Public Hearing

(as prepared for delivery)

February 25, 2020

Thank you for allowing me to testify before the Council on Environmental Quality to provide comments on the proposed rule you are considering related to the National Environmental Policy Act—its importance to our nation’s communities and environmental heritage is longstanding and has done tremendous good over the last 50 years.

Let the record forever show, I strongly oppose the administration’s proposal because it would weaken NEPA this landmark law and would undermine the law’s decades-long track record of success.

NEPA passed overwhelmingly and enacted on a bipartisan basis and has maintained broad-based support for decades for a simple reason – it has been an unqualified success.

The law has effectively provided communities across the country meaningful input on major actions or projects that have a potentially significant impact on the environment in their area.

It provides a common sense, “look before you leap” approach to Federal decision-making that has helped to protect clean air, clean water, and public health in communities across the country.

The administration’s proposed actions would damage this successful framework.

By limiting the “major federal actions” covered by NEPA, the proposed changes would effectively silence the ability of communities to provide meaningful input on pipelines or other major public works projects that directly affect them.

It would also narrow NEPA’s mandate to require federal agencies to consider the “cumulative impact” of a project, limit the geographic scope of review, and allow action to be taken before the NEPA process has been completed.

Let us be clear – these changes do not serve the interest of the American public at large.

Instead, they prioritize a narrow set of special interests who will disregard the environmental well-being of the American people if it meets their short-term financial needs.

All Americans deserve the ability to have a voice in federal decision making, and I urge the Council on Environmental Quality to reject the proposed changes by this administration to NEPA that would silence communities across the country, and weaken our ability to protect clean air, clean water, and public health.

Thank you.

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