The Future of NEPA Reform
As a condition of his vote for the Inflation Reduction Act, Sen. Joe Manchin demanded space for his own permitting-reform package in the latest spending bill. While his proposed legislation was ultimately pulled over objections to aspects tangential to permitting, interest in permitting reform remains strong. The target of many reformers’ ire is the current interpretation of the National Environmental Policy Act: a 1970 statute designed to ensure that the government gives adequate consideration to environmental impacts before embarking on major actions. While this has had significant benefits for environmental quality, the review process is often long, costly, and subject to aggressive litigation that often stretches for years. Is it time to rewrite portions of NEPA? And, if so, what should those reforms look like?
Harry Reasoner Regents Chair in Law
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Robert G. Storey Distinguished Faculty Fellow and Professor of Law
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC