Key Bridge, Washington, DC
As part of the White House’s ongoing efforts to address climate change, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)[1] is considering issuing revised guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that would direct federal agencies to consider, for the first time, the extent to which major federal actions could affect climate change. NEPA recognizes that major federal activities have the potential to affect the environment in some way, and NEPA mandates that federal agencies first consider the effects of such activities on the quality of the human environment before a project may proceed. If finalized, the revised guidance would reflect a significant change in NEPA environmental review that is often triggered as part of the permitting process for energy projects.

[1] NEPA established the CEQ within the Executive Office of the President and it is responsible for ensuring that federal agencies meet their obligations under the Act. The CEQ has promulgated regulations that implement NEPA and that serve as a model for most other federal agencies’ own NEPA regulations.