We’ve Made It Nearly Impossible to Build in America
In reality, NEPA is a labyrinthine process that severely hamstrings important infrastructure projects. On average, it takes 4.5 years and $4.2 million to complete the review process, before developers can even start building. The median Environmental Impact Statement is over 600 pages long. This is a huge deterrence to potential projects that could modernize our country’s infrastructure and reduce emissions. It’s not a coincidence that NEPA is the most litigated environmental statute in the United States.
Consider that 42% of all energy projects currently backlogged under NEPA are clean energy projects. Only 15% are fossil fuel projects. Yet several months ago, President Biden rolled back Trump-era reforms to NEPA that would’ve expedited the review process. Manchin recently sided with Senate Republicans to nullify the move, though it is unlikely to pass the House. We’re arbitrarily holding back clean energy projects that could reduce emissions.