WASHINGTON (December 18, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after the Obama administration released a new draft of guidance to consider heat-trapping emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act for all federal actions, including energy and mining activities. Senator Markey has pushed to include the costs of climate change into the mining of America’s coal on public land. Senator Markey is the chair of the U.S. Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse and a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
“By using bedrock environmental law to evaluate how actions could worsen climate change, this update to NEPA gets our entire government rowing in the same direction. It’s a smart step that creates a more comprehensive climate strategy, and the Obama administration is once again showing their commitment to tackle climate change.
“Climate change will be the challenge of the 21st century, and this new climate consideration in NEPA will modernize the law for the better. It will give agencies, the public and businesses certainty about how to incorporate climate change into the analyses of government actions and will be a powerful tool for making decisions that are good for the economy and the environment. This is an additional tool for the administration to ensure that taxpayers are not subsidizing actions that will worsen climate change and cause additional damage and costs in America from extreme weather and health impacts.
“When the costs of climate inaction continue to mount and the price of cleaner energy continues to drop, the time to look at alternative decisions in our energy sector has never been better. I commend the Obama administration for taking this vital step, and I look forward to working with all agencies to fight climate change.”