Trump Speech To Highlight Final Overhaul Of America’s Bedrock Environmental Law, Which Came Through a Revolving Door and Millions in Lobbying and Political Spending By Industry
“The process the Trump administration has used to overhaul our nation’s bedrock environmental law has been shrouded in the appearance of corruption,” said Accountable.US spokesman Chris Saeger. “The air we breathe, water we drink, and lands we share are at risk because the President is rewriting policy to help his special interest allies.”
Gutting NEPA has been a top priority for many of Trump’s political appointees and cabinet members, many of whom were former lobbyists for the very special interests that stand to benefit. A string of legal losses has only fueled the Trump administration’s push to finalize the revisions prior to a potential Congressional Review Act deadline.
Earlier this year a Bloomberg story, based in part on Accountable.US research, found that a top official in Trump’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) who has been a key player in the effort to overhaul NEPA is married to an industry lobbyist who lobbied CEQ on NEPA.
Major companies and executives. — including Chevron and Exxon Mobil — that contributed a total of $1,425,000 to Donald Trump’s campaigns and inauguration have also heavily lobbied his administration on NEPA reform. Many of these have projects pending review under the law that would be accelerated through the new changes: Chevron has applications to drill on public lands, and Exxon seeks approval for its Double E Pipeline, for example.
Experts have commented that overhauling NEPA will disproportionately impact communities of color, because it provides a venue for public objections to polluting operations that are often proposed to be built in low-income areas.
NEPA is a decades-old law, signed by President Richard Nixon that requires the government to consider the impacts of its decisions on the environment before infrastructure projects can be completed.
Learn more about the special interests fueling the Trump administration at Accountable.US and the impacts to America’s public lands and environment at WesternValuesProject.org.