WASHINGTON (April 19, 2022) – The Public Lands Council (PLC) and The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today expressed concern that the Biden administration’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rule undermines progress made over the last several years at a time when efficient regulatory processes are critical to environmental and economic sustainability.
“When it comes to federal regulations, ranchers are often caught in the middle of political whiplash, and this CEQ process is no exception,” said PLC Executive Director and NCBA Executive Director of Natural Resources and Kaitlynn Glover. “Livestock producers and land managers need regulatory certainty and consistency. By returning to a pre-2020 standard, this rule returns environmental analysis to a failed model that industry and government have long agreed is woefully inadequate and inefficient. This failed model will stall important environmental projects, delay critical infrastructure improvements, and impede progress made as part of ongoing NEPA processes.”
In addition to their role in water, transportation, and conservation projects nationwide, NEPA regulations play a foundational role in all activities on federal lands. Over the past several decades, NEPA processes have become inefficient and the source of an immense amount of regulatory red tape and uncertainty as producers renew grazing permits, improve rangeland, and participate in USDA voluntary conservation programs.
PLC and NCBA, in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Association, previously submitted comments in response to the Council for Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and have long advocated for a NEPA process that is targeted, concise, and timely.