GHG Requirements Will Drive Up Energy Costs, and Jeopardize Jobs, Infrastructure, Energy Independence, and National Security
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) argues that new greenhouse gas (GHG) guidance from the Biden Administration’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) seeks to erect new, vague, duplicative, and complicated barriers for major energy infrastructure development in the United States. These requirements will create more regulatory uncertainty for agencies and the private sector, further jeopardize U.S. energy independence and national security, and increase energy costs for all Americans, Graves detailed in a new letter to CEQ.
Chairman Graves sent the letter in response to CEQ’s January 9, 2023, notice of interim guidance seeking public comment on new requirements for considering GHG emissions pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Graves highlighted how poorly defined GHG requirements and definitions will negatively impact infrastructure development under the already complicated and lengthy NEPA review process.
“These issues will likely lead to unnecessary costs, delays, legal threats, and widespread confusion that delay or shut down major energy infrastructure projects. Moreover, agencies already possess full discretion to discuss these issues as part of its their NEPA reviews if they deem such information appropriate. Therefore, such guidance is unnecessary, duplicative, and counterproductive for infrastructure development,” Graves wrote.
The NEPA process is frequently used to delay or stop crucial infrastructure growth, and adding new GHG requirements on top of NEPA will further slow projects, increase energy costs, and threaten jobs. Graves urged CEQ and the Administration to instead focus on streamlining and modernizing NEPA, as is proposed in H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.
“Sacrificing energy independence and national security for the misguided and confusing policy in CEQ’s GHG guidance represents a dangerous and unnecessary domestic gamble. After Americans struggled with record high gas prices last year, gas prices are now rising again in the face of increasing demand and the foreign influence of OPEC+….
“NEPA-related delays in infrastructure projects can lead to the loss of investment and extinguish the labor force when jobs are put on hold or never materialize. These delays represented a significant reason for national labor and commerce groups’ strong support of the updating, modernizing, and streamlining of NEPA regulations during the Trump Administration.”
Graves further pointed out that in his State of the Union address, the President conceded that the country will “need oil for at least another decade . . . and beyond that.” He also highlighted that “[c]ontrary to these admissions, CEQ’s guidance imposes onerous review requirements on the very projects necessary to achieve energy independence.”
Click here to read the full letter to CEQ.