AGA Statement on Modifications to the National Environmental Policy Act
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) issued the following statement on the Council on Environmental Quality’s modifications to regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
“We are extremely disappointed that the final rule eliminated key common-sense reforms included in the 2020 rule.” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. “This new rule will impede infrastructure projects this nation needs, confusing the permitting procedure by reducing coordination between federal agencies, ignoring project goals and causing unnecessary delays in the review process.”
On Nov. 22, 2021, AGA joined a broad coalition in comments on the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposal to revise the 2020 NEPA regulations. As our comments state, AGA and the coalition fully support the fundamental goals of NEPA to better inform agency decisions and the public’s understanding of the potential environmental impacts of federal actions. Timely, predictable, and transparent NEPA processes are of significant importance to project sponsors, investors, employees, and contractors whose resources, jobs, and livelihoods are tied to projects subject to NEPA reviews, including critically important projects that will help bridge the digital divide in the rural and large urban areas, facilitate construction of public transit to connect communities to job centers, and build out the energy infrastructure essential to our economic recovery and our continued progress on the climate challenge. These changes will result in longer, more expensive permitting processes at great cost to customers and utilities.
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 76 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 73 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than thirty percent of the United States' energy needs.