APGA Supports Congressional Effort to Overturn NEPA Rule

By Emily Wong posted 08-04-2022 11:56 AM

APGA issued a statement this week applauding efforts in both the House and Senate to overturn a recent Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) rulemaking using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

In April, CEQ issued a rule revising its regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The rule rolled back changes made by the previous Administration that attempted to modernize and streamline the federal permitting process, which could lead to longer lead times and increase the regulatory burden for infrastructure project sponsors.

The CRA requires that agencies send their rulemakings to Congress for review and gives legislators the opportunity to overturn any rules they do not support. In order to do so, a resolution must be introduced in both the House and Senate that can be passed with a simple majority vote. To take effect, the President must sign the resolution like any other piece of legislation.

In this case, the President will almost certainly veto the resolution since his Administration issued the rule. However, all 50 Republicans have signed on to the Senate resolution and holding a vote on it gives them the opportunity to force their Democratic colleagues to take a stance on whether they support reforms to the federal permitting process. This is a particularly salient issue at the moment given that Senator Manchin (D-WV) has tied his support for the Democrats’ reconciliation bill to a separate effort to streamline federal permitting.

APGA has been a strong supporter of efforts to streamline federal permitting to make the process more efficient and less time consuming. It is APGA’s position that such changes would facilitate the much needed expansion of critical natural gas infrastructure, and APGA appreciates this effort by members of Congress to keep attention on this important issue.

You can read the statement on the APGA website here

For questions on this article, please contact Emily Wong of APGA staff by phone at 202-470-4262 or y email at ewong@apga.org.