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Biden EPA to Make It Easier for States to Block Fossil Fuel Projects

The Biden administration unveiled a plan Thursday to undo Trump-era rule changes to a key section of the Clean Water Act, essentially giving states, territories and tribes more say on fossil fuel or industrial projects that could pollute their watersheds.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule centers on Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, a longstanding provision that gives states more authority to certify or deny federal permits that are necessary for certain projects, including oil and gas pipelines.

Trump’s Fossil Fuel Agenda Gets Pushback from Federal Judges

Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands.

Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning

Federal agencies would no longer have to take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according to a Trump administration plan that would weaken the nation’s benchmark environmental law.

The proposed changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act could sharply reduce obstacles to the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other fossil fuel projects that have been stymied when courts ruled that the Trump administration did not properly consider climate change when analyzing the environmental effects of the projects.