Conservative group wants Trump to go further in rolling back key environmental law

Conservative group wants Trump to go further in rolling back key environmental law
© Getty Images

An influential conservative group wants the Trump administration to be more aggressive with its proposed rollback of a key environmental law that dates back to 1970.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said Wednesday he would like to see additional changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a 50-year-old law that requires federal agencies to analyze the environmental impact of construction projects.

The White House in January proposed a major rollback of NEPA, and President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE this month signed an executive order taking aim at regulations that “inhibit economic recovery.”


But McIntosh told reporters on a press call that he thinks the administration should “take another look and see what more can be done” to limit environmental regulations and speed up the permitting process.

McIntosh said his group was putting together suggestions for agency-specific regulations that can be suspended or permanently cut.

Trump last week signed an executive order saying agencies should address the coronavirus pandemic by “rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery.”

Experts have told The Hill that they expect the order to face court challenges.

It was the latest in a series of deregulatory actions taken by Trump during his presidency. An executive order early on required agencies to get rid of two regulations for every restriction they issued.

The Club for Growth has been among those advocating for more deregulatory actions. It said in an April memo that the president should issue an executive order “to suspend all civil and criminal penalties for any violation of Federal regulations when the person has made a good faith effort to comply.”

As for NEPA, the White House in January proposed giving industry greater influence over environmental reviews of projects and lessening the consideration of climate change impacts in those assessments.

Opponents of the changes have argued it could cause harm by limiting the consideration of environmental and public health impacts of construction, but supporters have said it is necessary to quicken lengthy review processes.