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Policy Impacts

Strengthening Environmental Review

Policy Integrity has played a significant role in modernizing environmental reviews conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Our input has helped shape regulations and guidance on these reviews, helping ensure that federal agencies consider a broader range of expected impacts before approving projects or other actions.

In particular, our scholarship, reports, and comments have outlined the best practices for considering climate impacts under NEPA and offered specific suggestions to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for ensuring those best practices are used across federal permitting processes. CEQ subsequently adopted many of our recommendations in its NEPA regulations and guidance. For example, CEQ incorporated our recommendations on quantifying the full scope of greenhouse gas emissions, applying the social cost of greenhouse gases, and considering the impacts of climate change on the proposed project, among other suggestions. 

CEQ’s guidance and regulations help codify existing standards that have been established in large part through litigation over federal energy permitting projects. Policy Integrity has played a key role in establishing that precedent through our amicus briefs, which have helped establish the need for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of the Interior, and other federal agencies to rationally account for climate impacts in energy permitting decisions.