U.S. EPA chief defends big energy projects, says climate not top priority

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a proposal to speed state-level permitting decisions for energy infrastructure projects soon, the agency’s chief told Reuters on Thursday, blasting states that have blocked coal terminals and gas pipelines on environmental grounds.Based on Trump’s orders, Wheeler’s EPA has been tasked with clarifying a section of the U.S. Clean Water Act that has allowed states like New York and Washington to delay projects in recent years.New York has used the section to delay pipelines that would bring natural gas to New England, for example, and Washington state has stopped coal export terminals that would open the Asian market for struggling coal companies in Wyoming and other landlocked western states….An excerpt from Reuters