The anticipated rules won’t change what has been the common practice at most federal agencies since President Trump took office three years ago—which has been to check a box on climate change while ignoring a project’s true contribution to global warming when carrying out reviews mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act.
But by changing 40-year-old regulations under the landmark law, the Trump White House hopes to make its limited approach to measuring a project’s climate impacts harder to challenge in court, and to make it harder for future presidents to pick up where Obama left off. The previous administration compelled agencies to weigh the indirect and cumulative effects of a project on heat-trapping emissions before giving it a green light.
Reviews that were completed that autumn, in 2016, by agencies such as the Forest Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management were more or less evenly divided between considering only direct emissions from a project and the broader indirect emissions that would be created after building it.
The final review released the following year took that advice to heart. It found that if oil prices dipped below a certain price, the pipeline’s carbon footprint would rise because it would cut transport costs, keeping Alberta’s oil sands development cost-effective.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission clashed frequently with Obama’s EPA on the scope of its environmental reviews. EPA sent a strongly worded letter to FERC in October 2016 demanding that it do more to consider the indirect climate impacts of the pipelines it permits.
This week’s anticipated proposal by the White House would be the first revision to NEPA regulations since the 1980s and the first meaningful one since the 1970s. It’s expected to truncate how agencies look at indirect and cumulative environmental impacts when permitting projects—a move its boosters say will allow permitting to run more smoothly and expeditiously.
An excerpt from
– 20.01.06 (Mon.)
1. California eyes $4.2 billion climate bond to prepare for disasters | The Japan Times
2. 東京新聞:グレタさん「今年も権力者に圧力」 初訪日に意欲:国際(TOKYO Web)
– 20.01.07 (Tue.)
1. Climate Change Stole the Show at the Golden Globes
– 20.01.08 (Wen.)
1. Marine Labs on the Water’s Edge Are Threatened by Climate Change – The New York Times
2. ジャカルタの洪水 首都移転？防潮堤？東京は大丈夫か(橋本淳司) – 個人 – Yahoo!ニュース
– 20.01.09 (Thu.)
1. Climate change threatens Afghanistan’s crumbling heritage
1. Trump Administration Moves to Limit Climate Reviews for Federal Projects
2. 英との包括合意には1年以上かかる＝ＥＵ首席交渉官 – ロイターニュース – 国際：朝日新聞デジタル
– 20.01.11 (Sat.)
1. Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief
– 20.01.12 (Sun.)
1. Climate change protests stretch to London as Australia bushfires rage