April 10, 2019 — President Trump announced an executive order aimed to expedite oil and gas pipeline projects. The order attempts to make it harder for states to block pipelines based on concerns about their impact on water quality.
“The president is attempting to advance his dangerous fossil fuel agenda by trampling on the rights of states to protect their waterways under the Clean Water Act. No executive order can waive that well-established legal right, and this does not change the ability of New Jersey and other states to deny permits for fossil fuel projects that don’t meet stringent environmental standards established by the states,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director for ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
“President Trump’s Executive Order is an attempt at an unprecedented federal power grab that directs the EPA to trample on states’ rights to protect their own land, health, and environment. The Clean Water Act carefully allocated control between states and the federal government. Reducing the amount of time states have to review projects or limiting the number of factors states may consider would infringe upon the legal authority clearly reserved to state governments under the Clean Water Act,” said Jennifer Danis, staff attorney, Columbia Environmental Law Center.