The increased severity of the impacts of climate change demand a re-evaluation of the legal tools that could combat it. The National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) was passed to force government agencies to account for the environmental impacts of their actions. However, as it exists today, NEPA fails to require agencies to consider how their actions will mitigate or exacerbate climate change. This Note argues that agencies should be required to consider the social cost of the greenhouse gases associated with potential major actions at various stages of NEPA analysis. This change would result in increased transparency and public engagement in the NEPA review process, furthering the original goals of the Act and hopefully resulting in more environmentally-friendly government actions in the future.
Significant Impacts Under NEPA: The Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases as a Tool to Mitigate Climate Change,
Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjeal/vol11/iss2/5