February 2010 Update: Climate Change
Bills Would Provide Incentives for Development of Off-Shore Wind Energy

Bills Would Bar Consideration of Climate Change Impacts under NEPA

By Jennifer Cassel

On April 20, 2010, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced a bill which would prohibit agencies from taking climate change impacts into account when conducting environmental impact evaluations under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).  Specifically, under Inhofe’s NEPA Certainty Act (S. 3230), “compliance with [NEPA] shall not include consideration of—(1) the greenhouse gas emissions, or any climate change effects of those emissions, of a proposed action and alternative actions; or (2) the relationship of climate change effects to a proposed action or alternatives, including the relationship to proposal design, environmental impacts, mitigation, and adaptation measures.” The bill, co-sponsored by 6 other Republican Senators, also includes a “declaration” that NEPA “should not be used to document, predict, or mitigate the climate effects of specific Federal actions.” The NEPA Certainty Act was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on April 20, 2010. 

S. 3230 is available at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s3230is.txt.pdf