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A service for investment professionals · Tuesday, October 4, 2022 · 594,131,476 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Capito, Sullivan Work to Overturn Biden’s Onerous NEPA Rules, Save Historic Infrastructure Investments

WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, joined her colleague Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) in introducing S.J. Res. 55, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). With all 48 of their Senate Republican colleagues, the senators are moving to nullify the Biden administration’s new regulation, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations Revisions,” that will further bog down the already-onerous federal environmental review process and add further delay to building vital infrastructure projects and putting hard-working Americans back to work.

“One of the biggest complaints I hear from contractors back home is the NEPA environmental review process—a lengthy and expensive labyrinth of federal bureaucracy. Because of the Biden administration’s NEPA policy, all the projects we just invested into with the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are now being bungled in red tape. The administration seems determined to make it as difficult as possible to actually build any infrastructure,” Ranking Member Capito said. “That’s why I’m proud to join with my friend Senator Sullivan in this common sense resolution. We need environmental review process reform in this country now.”

“I want to thank all of my Republican colleagues for cosponsoring this resolution. A broad coalition in Congress last year included commonsense permitting reforms in the bipartisan infrastructure bill to ensure that projects wouldn’t be stalled by endless review and delay,” said Senator Sullivan. “Remarkably, those important provisions to cut federal red tape, supported by America’s workers, are now being killed by the Biden administration’s new NEPA regulations. The bridges and roads, pipelines and tunnels, ports and runways that American taxpayers were promised will now suffer from an increasing regulatory quagmire. It doesn’t have to be this way. When NEPA was originally enacted, the average environmental impact statement took less than a year to complete. Today, the average EIS takes four to six years to complete at a cost of several millions of dollars. My resolution will work to end this bureaucratic stagnation. Because of the provisions of the Congressional Review Act, my Senate Democratic colleagues will have to vote and make a choice: Will they capitulate to the far-left radical environmentalists, or will they stand with the American people and the hard-working men and women of this country who build the vital hard infrastructure projects we need? There won’t be any hiding from this vote. It will be very interesting to see who my Democratic colleagues stand with. I know who I stand for: the men and women who build our country.”

The CRA resolution is cosponsored by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

BACKGROUND:

The recently enacted Biden administration NEPA rules, authored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), undermine important provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act intended to streamline key elements of our broken federal environmental review process, which Ranking Member Capito and Senator Sullivan played a leading role in writing. Additionally, the Biden administration’s NEPA rules are a substantial roll-back of the Trump administration’s 2020 NEPA regulations, which were the first major modernization of federal environmental reviews since 1978.

The CRA provides Congress an expedited mechanism to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions through a joint resolution of disapproval. A joint resolution of disapproval under the CRA is afforded special procedures, bypassing normal Senate rules and allowing for a vote on the Senate floor. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by a simple majority in both houses of Congress and signed by the President—or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto—the rule is invalidated.

 

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