National Environmental Policy Act Phase 2 Proposed Rule

The proposed NEPA rule jeopardizes co-ops’ ability to maintain and build essential electric infrastructure needed to ensure reliable electricity.

Jeopardizing Reliable Electricity

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In July 2023, the White House Council on Enviro​nmental Quality proposed extensive changes to its National Environmental Policy Act regulations that provide direction to all federal agencies on how to conduct environ​mental reviews for a wide range of infrastructure projects and activities that require federal permits, right-of-way authorizations, and other approvals or utilize federal financial assistance.

NRECA urged CEQ to withdraw the proposed rule and revise and reissue a proposal before proceeding. NRECA's comments pointed out the following issues:

  • Congress amended NEPA to focus and accelerate the federal permitting process for all types of projects.

  • The proposal is not fully consistent with the letter or intent of NEPA as amended by the Fis​cal Responsibility Act​ and adds new burdensome requirements while increasing complexity which will inject new uncertainty into the process.

  • NEPA is a procedural statute that does not mandate particular results or that agencies elevate environmental concerns above other appropriate considerations.

  • Elevating certain environmental consideration—climate change and environmental justice—above others is inconsistent with NEPA's objective, project-specific approach.

  • NEPA does not provide authority for CEQ or other agencies to require mitigation.

  • Layering on additional requirements for categorical exclusions​​, the lowest level of NEPA review, will make their use less efficient and more burdensome for projects that do not have significant environmental effects.

  • Expanding the scope of NEPA reviews by requiring consideration of factors beyond the scope of the action is inconsistent with NEPA as amended by the FRA.

  • The proposal will prolong and complicate federal environmental reviews and increase litigation risk for essential electric infrastructure projects, which jeopardizes affordable, reliable, and safe electricity.

Resources fo​r Co-o​​ps:


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