Interior Department Seeks to Expedite Energy Projects

50 projects total being reviewed for permit exemption to accelerate COVID recovery.

The Department of the Interior has submitted a list of major energy and infrastructure projects to the White House for review. They requested that 21 oil and gas drilling sites be granted exemption from environmental permitting. The Interior Department cited the need for job creation as the primary reason for accelerating the drilling and mining process.

As part of the administration’s goal for streamlining the National Environmental Policy Act, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor stated that the department seeks to expand the list of “categorical exclusions” to exempt projects from the lengthy process of environmental review and public feedback requirements.

Interior Department spokesman Conner Swanson said of the request, “The Trump Administration has taken significant steps to improve the federal government’s decision-making process, while also ensuring that the environmental consequences of proposed projects are thoughtfully analyzed.”

Environmental activists do not approve of the move, saying that the pandemic is not a valid reason to roll back regulations.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • That the Interior Department would have insight as they strike the balance of land protection and land extraction.
  • For the White House as they cooperate with businesses across the country.
  • For the Lord’s provision for people enduring job loss and economic hardship.

Sources: Reuters, NY Times 


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