Members of the Congressional Western Caucus today announced the introduction of legislation that would prevent the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) from being used as a vehicle to advance climate regulations that are outside the scope and original intent of NEPA. H.R. 5342 was introduced by Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and fellow Western Caucus members Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA).
H.R. 5342, the House counterpart to S. 3230 introduced in the Senate on April 20, 2010 by Senators Inhofe (OK) and Barrasso (WY), will ensure that federal agencies implementing the requirements of NEPA won't engage, or be forced to engage in costly and unnecessary assessments specific to a potential influence on climate change. The bill would also help reduce the flood of activist-inspired litigation designed to change NEPA into a global warming prevention statute.
"Activist groups, with the Obama Administration's help, are hijacking existing environmental statutes in an attempt to advance their global warming agenda. Western industries that provide resources and jobs are often the target of special interest groups using laws like NEPA as a means to slow or stop production. NEPA was never intended to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. H.R. 5342 will stop the litigation and delays and prevent the Administration from imposing backdoor energy taxes that American consumers don't want and can't afford," said Congressman Bishop.
In addition to legislation, Members of the Western Caucus sent Nancy Sutley, Chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a letter expressing concern over the CEQ's recent recommendation that federal agencies consider and evaluate climate change and greenhouse gas emissions during the NEPA process.