Graves Statement on the Biden Administration’s NEPA Rule and Slowdown of U.S. Infrastructure Projects

Washington, D.C., April 19, 2022 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) statement on the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) final “Phase I” National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rollback rule:

“This rule to reimpose outdated NEPA regulations couldn’t come at a worse time.  The Nation continues to deal with various crises the President’s policies have exacerbated – from inflation, to the supply chain, to American energy independence.  Now the Administration is moving backwards on much needed, commonsense NEPA reforms, which will only delay important projects, drive up costs, and further erode any value from the infrastructure law.”

On November 22, 2021, Graves and the Committee’s subcommittee ranking members sent a letter to CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory advising the Administration against rolling back recently implemented NEPA updates.  At the time, the Members wrote, “NEPA-related delays in infrastructure projects can lead to a tremendous loss of investment and extinguish the labor force when jobs are put on hold or never materialize.  Such significant and persistent problems represented a big reason why national labor and commerce groups strongly supported updating and modernizing NEPA last year.”  That letter from Reps. Sam Graves, Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Garret Graves (R-LA), and David Rouzer (R-NC) is available here.

Committee Republicans have also led on other project streamlining initiatives, including Rep. Garret Graves’ BUILDER Act, which would modernize NEPA regulations to make infrastructure project reviews more efficient and reduce project costs without compromising environmental protections, and Rep. Rodney Davis’ One Federal Decision Act, much of which was included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act although the benefits of its reforms are threatened by this NEPA rollback and other Administration policies that slow down infrastructure projects.