Farm Groups Oppose Final NEPA Changes

Hills Water Flat Land

Key farm groups are opposing the Biden Administration’s final phase 1 revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act affecting major infrastructure projects.

The American Farm Bureau and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association say the revised NEPA rules are a step backwards and jeopardize the very projects the Biden Administration is promoting.

AFB’s Shelby Hagenauer; “We’re concerned that infrastructure projects and things that farmers and ranchers care about…locks and dams, roadways, railways, that the investments in that infrastructure are going to be slowed down by a more cumbersome NEPA process.”

Hagenauer says the earlier revised 2020 rule reduced red tape; “The revised 2020 rule actually moved us forward, in terms of addressing streamlining and more efficient permitting for everything from broadband to infrastructure, and, with this change, the administration and CEQ are reverting back to many regulations from the mid to late 70s.” That was referring to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Farm Bureau argues the pandemic, supply chain bottlenecks and drought in the West are already aggravating food and fuel inflation. It says a slow and cumbersome NEPA process will make things worse.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented Wednesday on the final phase 1 revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA. Duvall says, “AFBF is disappointed that the Biden administration has decided to reverse commonsense reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act.”

AFBF says farmers and ranchers share the goal of caring for the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with and were pleased that the updated 2020 regulations allowed them to protect the environment while meeting the demands of a growing nation.

Duvall says, “The situation will now be made worse by the return to a slow and cumbersome NEPA review process that, in many cases, takes years to complete.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council expressed similar disappointment over the action earlier this week.

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