WASHINGTON — IER Senior Vice President Dan Kish issued the following statement after the release of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
“GAO’s report indicates that NEPA is long past broken. What began as a law to encourage public participation and transparency has turned into a tool for delaying projects on federal lands. It’s paralysis by analysis. Opponents of energy production have been able to abuse NEPA by turning the process into an unbearable waiting game that delays decisions for certain projects. For businesses and people waiting to go to work, time is money and a delayed decision can be the same as a denied decision – no project and no paycheck.
“Between drawn-out litigation battles and environmental impact statements, these delays can be staggering. For example, environmental impact statements, which were expected to take no more than 12 months 30 years ago, now take an estimated 4.6 years to complete. You can send a kid through college and they can start on an advanced degree faster than it takes to put together an EIS. Because of this, investments that could have been made, weren’t made and the American people have been deprived of their own energy resources.“As GAO shows in their report, federal agencies have enabled the breakdown ofNEPA by failing to keep tabs on the costs, benefits, time frames, and litigations related to the rule. NEPA is broken and if it’s not fixed it will continue to have damaging effects on American energy production of all kinds.”
To read the GAO report, click here.