The White House proposed Friday that federal agencies no longer have to take a project's long-term climate impacts into account when assessing how they will affect the environment, reversing a major Obama administration policy.
Mary Neumayr, who chairs the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the proposal would speed the construction of major infrastructure projects.
The council's draft guidance would change the way the U.S. government evaluates activities ranging from coal mining to gas pipelines and oil drilling by limiting the extent to which agencies can calculate their greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the new directive, agencies only have to calculate an action's greenhouse gas emissions when "a sufficiently close causal relationship exists" between a project and greater carbon emissions. The previous directive said agencies must quantify to what extent they will contribute to climate change.