Happy New Year — the idiocy continues

“The Obama administration may issue an order that would expand the National Environmental Policy Act’s scope to prevent global warming. The move could open up new avenues to challenge projects.

The White House is poised to order all federal agencies to evaluate any major actions they take, such as building highways or logging national forests, to determine how they would contribute to and be affected by climate change, a step long sought by environmentalists. …

The new order would expand the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA …

By formalizing a requirement to consider effects on climate — a step some agencies already take — the administration would introduce a broad new spectrum of issues to be considered. It could also open up new avenues for environmentalists to attack, delay or halt proposed government actions. …

“People will think longer and harder and smarter about what they build when they understand that the environment around them is changing,” said David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club. Bookbinder was one of several environmental lawyers who petitioned the White House in 2008 to formally recognize climate considerations under the act. …

Business groups and many Republicans say that federal environmental reviews already hamstring economic development with red tape and they’ve warned that adding climate to the process would just make things worse.

“Requiring analysis of climate change impacts during the NEPA process . . . will slow our economic recovery while providing no meaningful environmental benefits,” Sens. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), wrote in a letter to Sutley in October.

“Projects across the nation are already experiencing delays or being canceled due to inappropriate and inefficient implementation and litigation from existing environmental regulations,” the letter said.” “Federal agencies may have to consider climate before they act

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