AFPI, TPPF, CEI, and Heritage Action File Comments Opposing the Biden Administration’s Move to Reverse Historic NEPA Permitting Reforms Made by Trump Administration

November 24, 2021

This week, the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s (TPPF’s) Life:Powered project, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and  Heritage Action submitted joint comments opposing the Biden Administration’s proposed rule to reverse critical modernization of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations.  These common-sense reforms accomplished during the Trump Administration removed unnecessary and burdensome delays in the federal authorization and environmental review processes. 

“Not only is the Biden Administration’s proposal unsound policy, it is also legally dubious,” shared The Honorable Andrew Wheeler, AFPI’s Chair of the Center for the Environment. “The historic NEPA reforms of the Trump Administration were not only long-overdue, but also essential to improve our Nation’s commitment to the highest environmental standards and the future of American infrastructure.  It is also ironic that the Biden Administration is determined to add unnecessary regulatory roadblocks that fly in the face of President Biden’s stated commitment to infrastructure advancement. As with most of their policies, this rule, if fully implemented, will harm American jobs, American prosperity, and American environmental progress.” 

“The Trump Administration’s historic, common-sense NEPA modernization lightened the heavy-hand of four decades of unnecessary process while preserving the objectives of this important Act,” stated The Honorable David Bernhardt, AFPI’s Chair of the Center for American Freedom. “The haphazard piecemeal approach the Biden Administration has taken to undoing these critical reforms fails to account for the needless and excessive delays and years of red-tape facilitated by the provisions they now hope to add back into the regulatory paradigm.  By adopting these regulations, they will be embracing a concept of not building, rather than building back better.” 

“The Trump administration’s reforms to NEPA were a critical step toward reducing draconian regulations on our nation’s responsible energy producers and infrastructure builders — restoring limited government and removing unneeded delays, complexities, and burdens," said The Honorable Jason Isaac, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Life:Powered initiative. "Sadly, the Biden administration's anti-energy crusade has destroyed our nation's energy dominance, which previously saved families $204 billion every year. President Biden’s insistence on undoing the previous administration’s regulatory reforms will make it harder and more expensive than ever to achieve his own goals — and harder for the American people to make a living.” 

“The Biden CEQ seems oblivious to the fact that destroying the Trump administration’s NEPA reforms undermines the Biden administration’s promise that massive spending will speed up development of infrastructure and so-called ‘green’ energy projects,” shared Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Director of the Center for Energy and Environment. “Rejecting critical modernizing reforms in favor of the old NEPA rules will add years and even decades of permitting delays to major projects, hindering not only the Biden Administration’s central promises on infrastructure, but more importantly, the future of infrastructure progress and prosperity for all Americans.” 

“President Trump was right to modernize NEPA, an outdated and flawed regulatory burden with arbitrary standards and politicized enforcement,” stated Heritage Action’s Executive Director, Jessica Anderson. “The Biden Administration is now adding back redundant red-tape, which will further delay economic growth, limit job creation, and add to inflation by imposing additional costs. This move proves Biden’s commitment to his America Last agenda.”