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House energy coalition celebrates finalization of Biden’s National Environmental Policy Act

Rebecca Barnabi
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President Joe Biden’s White House Council on Environmental Quality finalized National Environmental Policy Act Phase II (NEPA) regulations that advance climate and environmental justice.

The Co-Chairs of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), including Reps. Doris Matsui, Mike Quigley and Paul Tonko, and SEEC Clean Energy Deployment Task Force, Reps. Sean Casten and Mike Levin, celebrate the NEPA regulations.

SEEC is a coalition of 98 members of the U.S. House of Representatives founded in January 2009 to be a focused, active and effective coalition for advancing policies that address climate change, promote clean energy innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, create family-sustaining clean jobs, protect our nation’s air, water, and natural environment and promote environmental justice.

“We applaud the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) leadership in finalizing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Phase II regulations that ensure we efficiently build out the American clean energy revolution on a just and equitable foundation,” the co-chairs said. “These regulations provide a clear directive to our federal agencies to comprehensively consider the economic, climate, and community impacts associated with our federal actions. Our most burdened and underinvested communities also experience the disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis. Today’s regulations are responsive to the needs of these communities by ensuring accessible public input and, for the first time, defining environmental justice in federal regulation.”

The co-chairs have worked within Congress “to address the permitting issues that are holding back our clean energy transition for all Americans. The NEPA Phase II regulations successfully implement Congress’ directives in the Fiscal Responsibility Act to speed up timelines for projects, while also taking a historic step in delivering a mandate to federal agencies to address long-overlooked environmental justice concerns. We know that proper community engagement on a project can speed up construction by addressing concerns early on in the process, and so we are pleased to see the expanded community engagement requirements in this rule. These provisions are in keeping with the community engagement title in our bill, the Clean Electricity and Transmission Acceleration Act, which would expand on these important protections finalized by NEPA today. We will continue to work within Congress to build on this success to support the responsible buildout of transmission and clean energy, while ensuring environmental justice communities have a seat at the table.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.