On August 2nd, the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued guidance to federal agencies encouraging the consideration of GHG emissions and climate change when reviewing permit approvals or other federal actions.
These reviews take place under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The oil and gas industry could possibly be impacted in the areas of: new offshore drilling plans, permitting for pipelines and export terminals, and various oil and gas production activities on federal lands. New regulatory requirements also frequently go through NEPA analysis.
While CEQ’s guidance is not a requirement, it does have significant impact as many agency decisions must receive White House approval. Additionally, the presence of this guidance offers groups seeking to halt energy development a new opportunity to block actions through the courts.