FEDS MOVE TO Roll Back Environmental Reviews of Natural Gas Projects

by | May 29, 2020

The Department of Energy has proposed lifting requirements for environmental reviews of proposed natural gas import and export projects. The reviews are required under the National Environmental Policy Act, a keystone environmental protection law. The agency says the change is reasonable because the Energy Department has “no authority to prevent” any environmental impacts that NEPA reviews would reveal; and that rolling back the requirement “will improve the efficiency of the DOE decision-making process by saving time and money in the NEPA review process and eliminating unnecessary environmental documentation.” Status: Proposed rule change published May 1, 2020. Public comment period ends June 1, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.