"Permitting changes included in the deal to suspend the debt limit are drawing concern from environmentalists who say many projects would escape federal review under the proposal making its way through Congress.
Efforts to overhaul the federal permitting process under the National Environmental Policy Act began in earnest last summer following Democrats’ passage of the sweeping tax-and-climate package. The proposal would make changes to permitting and federal spending as part of a broader agreement to suspend the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025.
The changes include language that would exempt projects from review under NEPA unless the federal government has “substantial” control and responsibility over them. That change and others have sparked concern that the effort to expedite projects, even those directed at the clean energy transition away from fossil fuels, will have unintended environmental impacts."