Opinion: We can’t trust Trump to update a critical environmental law, professors say

Trump NEPA announcement

STUART SHAPIRO and MICHAEL GREENBERG / STAR-LEDGER – Earlier this month, the Trump Administration’s Council on Environmental Quality proposed changes to their regulations on the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler greeted the changes with glee, calling NEPA regulations a, “Frankenstein of a regulatory regime” and a “welfare project” for trial attorneys.” The juxtaposition of the proposed changes and Wheeler’s comments demonstrate the problem with the possible reforms.

NEPA passed overwhelmingly in the House and unanimously in the Senate in 1970, and was signed into law by President Nixon. NEPA’s most important provisions required federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of a wide variety of federal and federally-supported actions prior to moving forward on (or funding) those actions …

Stuart Shapiro is the associate dean of faculty at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Michael Greenberg is a distinguished professor at the Bloustein School.

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