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Knudsen fights Biden administration’s attempt to undo Trump’s NEPA reforms

HELENA – Attorney General Austin Knudsen submitted a formal comment to the White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair (CEQ) demanding that it withdraw its two-year “delay” of the Trump administration’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) modernization and reforms. Prior to the Trump administration’s reforms being finalized in July 2020, the CEQ had not comprehensively updated the regulations since their promulgation in 1978.

The Biden administration’s 2021 NEPA Delay Rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) notice and comment requirement, is arbitrary and capricious under APA, and is contrary to established caselaw. By attempting to undo the new rules through the so-called delay, the Biden administration is continuing its pattern of unlawful, reckless, and job-killing decisions – like destroying the Keystone XL pipeline project and continued de facto federal energy lease bans.

“This clumsy bureaucratic sleight-of-hand is obvious and insulting. This surreptitious attempt to stop NEPA modernization through a ‘delay’ is unlawful and one more example of this administration cutting corners, undermining Montana jobs and infrastructure, and shamelessly pandering to the radical left,” Attorney General Knudsen’s comment letter states. “Instead of updating our Nation’s infrastructure, promoting job growth, and revitalizing communities, the Biden administration is opting for crumbling roads and bridges and jobs for federal paper pushers while the blue-collar workers who would build these projects remain unemployed.”

Read the full comment letter here.