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The Role of Categorical Exclusions in Achieving Net-Zero by 2050

The Role of Categorical Exclusions in Achieving Net-Zero by 2050

Full Title: The Role of Categorical Exclusions in Achieving Net-Zero by 2050
Author(s): Bipartisan Policy Center
Publisher(s): Bipartisan Policy Center
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

With the urgent challenge of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 in mind, we must prioritize building the clean infrastructure required to achieve that goal as quickly as possible and without sacrificing any environmental standards.

A 2020 CEQ study found that the median time to complete an Environmental Impact Statement across all federal agencies is 3.5 years, while the average completion time is even longer at 4.5 years.1 Of the 1,276 EISs reviewed by CEQ, half took longer than 3.5 years to complete and one quarter took more than 6 years.

Due to the amount of time, effort, and interagency coordination involved in the creation of an EIS, or even a briefer Environmental Assessment (EA), NEPA reviews can significantly delay project delivery and increase the costs of infrastructure projects even when an agency ultimately concludes that a project will have no significant environmental impact. Completion times for project environmental review and authorization—including the permitting required beyond the NEPA review—and litigation risk are highly unpredictable. This creates uncertainty for project developers and their investors which discourages private capital investment and can jeopardize the financial viability of critical projects.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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