The Council of Environmental Quality issued draft guidance to federal agencies on how to analyze the environmental effects of greenhouse gases ("GHG") and climate change under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") on February 18, 2010. (Available here.)
The White House issued this guidance along with three other memoranda intended to "modernize and reinvigorate" NEPA which is now in its 40th year. The guidance has two parts, the first of which focuses on the effects of an agency action on GHG emissions. It provides guidance on when and how to consider GHGs and what to analyze as part of the NEPA process. The second section encourages federal agencies to consider the effects of climate change on the proposed agency action. Comments regarding the draft guidance can be submitted at the Counsel's website within 90 days. Stay tuned to sheppardmullin.com for further analysis on this issue.