Let America Build Again
Repeal the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 (NEPA) is infamous for imposing red tape on energy and infrastructure projects and triggering environmental reviews for other projects that require federal permitting or federal funds. These reviews can take years and, rather than concluding the matter, once completed provide an invitation for environmental groups to launch lawsuits over the quality of the process. The lawsuits can occupy years more, even if no legal basis exists for objecting to the project.
Numerous proposals now exist for “permitting reform,” and many would be an improvement on the status quo. But policymakers should not accept a broken, counterproductive law that provides no meaningful environmental protection as their starting point. Congress should instead repeal NEPA. The only way that the thousands of pages of reports and endless lawsuits enhance environmental protection is by discouraging investment and stalling building altogether—which is perhaps why advocates love it, and why its repeal is so vital. Without NEPA, all substantive environmental laws on the books would remain in force, providing all the same protections they do today. America could begin building again.