Corps review wonât weigh impact of coal beyond NWThe Army Corps of Engineers would had a mandagte to widen the scope for its review of the coal export mega terminals to include their effect on Climate Change if the Obama Administration hadn't been dragging its feet on updating the standards of the National Environmental Policy Act for over years now.
By Hal Bernton
âWe have determined ... that the effects of shipping of coal outside U.S. waters and the burning of coal, wherever the ultimate destination may be, is outside our scope of analysis,â said Jennifer Moyer acting chief of regulatory programs for the Army Corps of Engineers, in testimony before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The corpsâ decision appears to be a setback for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. John KitzÂhaber. In a March letter to the Obama administration, the governors sought a federal review of the climate impact from coal exports to Asia before approval of permits for Northwest terminals.
Obama leaves climate change-fighting tool on shelf for now
NEPA, a statute that dates to the Nixon administration, calls on officials to weigh whether projects such as highways, dams or oil drilling could harm the environment.
In early 2010, the White House suggested it would make an update to NEPA that would require counting greenhouse gas emissions among the impacts worthy of a NEPA review. But those standards have been on ice ever since they were written.President Obama has the power and indeed the DUTY to update the NEPA standards using the best and most current science.
Democratic lawmakers have called on the White House to weigh climate change in proposals like the Keystone XL oil pipeline and coal export terminals planned for the Pacific Northwest.The Obama Administration is being more accommodating to the Republicans and their corporate sponsors here.
Industry groups and Republicans, though, have warned Obama to keep NEPA out of the climate change debate.