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National Environmental Policy Act Is a Half-Century Old — And Long Outlived Its Usefulness

National Environmental Policy Act Is a Half-Century Old — And Long Outlived Its Usefulness

As Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation writes, the National Environmental Policy Act is old and has long outlived its usefulness.

The C3 Take
  • NEPA, while well-intentioned, often slows down projects that would benefit our environment.
  • The permitting and review process takes years to complete, driving up costs and decreasing investments.
  • Instead of over-regulating, we should encourage investments and the completion of key infrastructure projects.

The statute requires federal agencies to assess the potential environmental effects of public works projects and other major government actions. Agencies must consider the aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic and social effects of proposed actions. This overly broad mandate provides virtually endless opportunities for bureaucratic wrangling and legal challenge.

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