In response to the approval of Senate Joint Resolution 55, providing for Congress to eliminate the rule submitted by the Council on Environmental Quality relating to “National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions,” Oxfam America’s Senior Climate Policy Advisor, Russell Armstrong, made the following statement:
“Today is a sad day for environmental justice communities and public voice. Senator Manchin and Senate Republicans prevailed in championing the proposal to use the broad sweeping powers of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to undermine federal agencies’ duties to review projects. This may have cumulative and devastating impacts for our climate.
“The CRA was a blunt tool abused by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans to unwind regulations meant to protect Americans. This resolution, now passed, will undermine core provisions put into place under the National Environmental Policy Act regulations that were just restored by President Biden less than six months ago.
“By unwinding review processes to silence public input, efforts to tackle climate change and environmental injustice are once again severely weakened just as Congress is trying to piece together one last chance to preserve the US global commitments to a cleaner 1.5° C world.
“We hope President Biden will veto this resolution, but it is disheartening that policymakers continue to seek middle ground at the expense of the most vulnerable communities by delegitimizing future federal actions and undermining public input in federal decision-making.”