Proposed Rule Would Spur Feds to Consider Climate Impacts

The Obama administration has released a draft proposal directing federal agencies to consider global warming implications before they take major action as part of a new order that would expand the 40-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

First discussed by the White House last month, the draft proposal asks agencies to consider both large- and small-scale emissions but is "neither a way to regulate greenhouse gases nor is it a substitute for comprehensive climate and energy legislation, which remains a critical need," according to White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley.

"This guidance will empower the government to make smarter decisions," said Sutley.

As currently constituted, NEPA "requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions."

Published: February 23, 2010