Environmental rollback expected to speed pipeline approval

January 09, 2020 - 10:46 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to speed up approval for pipelines and other major oil and gas projects as part of a sweeping change in enforcement of one of the country's landmark environmental laws.

President Donald Trump was set to present a proposed overhaul of the half-century old National Environmental Policy Act on Thursday. That law changed environmental oversight in the United States by requiring federal agencies to consider the impact of major building projects on the land and on wildlife.

Anne Bradbury, head of an independent oil and gas producers trade group, said among the proposed changes are ones that will speed up permitting of oil projects, including pipelines, on federal lands. The Trump administration has pushed hard for pipeline building to move ahead despite local challenges, along with calling for shortening the time and length of environmental reviews for projects.

Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups say the changes will exempt polluters from public scrutiny of their projects.

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