Don’t let Congress weaken this environmental protection

This environmental law might not be well known, but an effort in Congress to gut it would be felt across the country.

Forest Service, USDA via Flickr | Public Domain
The National Environmental Policy Act protects some of our country’s most important wild places, such as the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.

Take Action

The most important environmental law you’ve never heard of is on the chopping block.

Whether it’s oil and gas drilling on public lands, offshore oil rigs, or toxic mining in incredible places like the Boundary Waters, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is one of our most important tools to defend our environment.

But now there’s an effort underway in Congress to significantly weaken this bedrock environmental law.

The most important climate law you’ve never heard of

NEPA may sound wonky, but it’s incredibly important for protecting our country’s environment. The law requires federal agencies to assess environmental impacts before allowing potentially harmful projects, including mining, oil drilling and pipeline construction.

For 50 years, NEPA has quietly protected some of our most precious, environmentally sensitive places. It helps federal agencies minimize the environmental impact of the projects they oversee, and it allows them to consider less-damaging alternatives.

NEPA also requires that the public be given a chance to weigh in on these projects — a chance you’ve likely taken advantage of yourself if you’ve signed many of our petitions.

What we lose without NEPA

Allowing dirty, dangerous and destructive projects, such as oil pipelines, to sail through without fully considering the damage they could cause to our environment or climate would be disastrous. Essentially, our government would no longer have to look before it leaps.

In a world already running short on nature, we should be doing more to protect what we have, not making it easier to build over it.

Tell your U.S. House representative and senators: Don’t gut NEPA.


Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Washington Legislative Office, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Lisa directs strategy and staff for Environment America's federal campaigns. She also oversees The Public Interest Network's Washington, D.C., office and operations. She has won millions of dollars in investments in walking, biking and transit, and has helped develop strategic campaigns to protect America's oceans, forests and public lands from drilling, logging and road-building. Lisa is an Oregonian transplant in Washington, D.C., where she loves hiking, running, biking, and cooking for friends and family.

Find Out More