By Ray Cardello for August 3, 2022 Season 12 / Post 18
In April, the Biden Administration amended the federal regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to reverse certain changes made by the Trump Administration. The first set of amendments took effect on May 20, 2022. This act by Biden was a direct shot at the fossil fuel industry but also put restrictions on infrastructure projects in the works and on the planning board. I am confused. I thought Biden was for infrastructure, but that is more talk than action.
One of the reasons that Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) has flip-flopped and is now in favor of the $8 billion Inflation Reduction Act was because of certain reversals by Biden of some of the energy programs he has killed since taking office. Manchin is being duped. The concessions are not part of the bill. He is being given a “promise” by Chuck Schumer that the Senate will vote on the concessions in September. There is no guarantee his vote will bring about these changes.
Enter Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AL). According to Sullivan’s website:
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) has introduced S.J. Res. 55, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act(CRA), with all 49 of his Senate Republican colleagues to nullify the Biden administration’s new regulation, “National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations Revisions,” that will further bog down the already-onerous federal permitting process and add further delay to building vital infrastructure projects and putting hard-working Americans back to work. The recently enacted Biden administration NEPA rules, authored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), undermine important provisions in the infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act intended to streamline key elements of our broken federal permitting process, which Senator Sullivan played a leading role in writing. Additionally, the Biden administration’s NEPA rules are a substantial roll-back of the Trump administration’s 2020 NEPA regulations, which were the first major modernization of federal environmental reviews since 1978. Senator Sullivan was a leading advocate for the 2020 NEPA revisions, having previously introduced legislation—the Rebuild America Now Act—that mirrored the Trump-era reforms.
This act would take the handcuffs off all energy and infrastructure projects and do it now, not in September as Manchin’s resolution would do. Manchin’s resolution would only apply to twenty-five specific projects.
Sullivan’s CRA would not require approval by Schumer to get to the floor for a vote and only needs 51 votes to pass. All fifty Republican Senators have co-signed the CRA, so only one Democrat vote is needed to send the Act to the House. Manchin should sign on quickly for this CRA does all Manchin’s resolution would do and more. The CRA to overturn NEPA is a bill that has to scare the hell out of the Dems. A vote against is a vote against American workers, the people that build things and make this country and economy move. It is a vote for the Coastal Economic Elites. A vote against would harm anyone on the ballot in November.
If the CRA gets to the House and Biden’s desk, they will be under the same microscope. Are you for the people or the elites? The House cannot have a NO vote hitting them in the midterms. As for Biden, who knows. He has done nothing in eighteen months for the American worker. This would be a good place to start.