August 27, 2019

Senators Call Out Fossil Fuel Industry Control of Trump Administration in Environmental Review Comments

Commenting on new CEQ NEPA greenhouse gas guidance, senators point to broad agreement about economic costs of climate change and the importance of monetizing the costs of carbon pollution

WASHINGTON – Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has joined Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in submitting comments to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regarding its proposed guidance on consideration of greenhouse gas emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The Trump administration’s proposal would significantly downplay the consideration of greenhouse gas emissions in the federal government’s NEPA environmental review process—a process Congress put in place to ensure major threats like climate change are taken into account for all federal actions.  In the comments, the senators detail how the proposed changes are another sign of the fossil fuel industry wresting control of Americans’ environmental regulators to pollute more easily.  

 “The proposed guidance is yet another example of the regulatory capture of the Trump administration by the fossil fuel industry,” the senators write.  “It ignores scientific, economic, and technical expertise on the costs of carbon pollution in order to cater to the interests of the fossil fuel industry to which the Trump administration is professionally, financially, and politically tied.”

The comments highlight the economic risks of climate change, catalogue the range of authorities – from courts to states to private companies – that support or require monetizing the cost of carbon pollution, and document the deep and broad ties between the Trump administration and the fossil fuel industry. 

Read the senators’ full comments here

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