Phil Weiser

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser speaks to the Colorado Water Congress in Westminster on Jan. 30, 2020.

Colorado's Democratic attorney general wants the country's Republican president to rethink his recent changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal law that dictates federal approval for infrastructure and other construction projects.

While communities and environmental groups say the process is justice for communities, those clamoring for NEPA reform point out that environmental permitting and other red tape can tie up work for years.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser sent a letter about the proposed changes the White House Council on Environmental Quality. 

"In Colorado, protecting our state’s land, air, water, and people is of the utmost importance," the letter states. "Colorado is home to abundant natural resources, and its natural environment provides aesthetic, economic, social, and ecological value.

"The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ensures that decision makers carefully consider, and seek to minimize, potential adverse effects on Colorado’s resources when making infrastructure and other types of decisions."

Read the full letter by clicking here.

“Since NEPA became law 50 years ago, federal, state, local and tribal agencies have worked collaboratively with concerned citizens to reach better decisions on federal actions such as highway construction, energy development, water planning, disaster preparedness, and fish and wildlife management,” Weiser said in a statement.

“Colorado supports modernizing NEPA review and making it more efficient and streamlined. The proposed rule, however, would restrict our state’s ability to take into account the indirect and cumulative impacts of projects and ignore the effects of climate change in infrastructure and resource planning, and that could threaten Colorado’s health, economy and way of life.”

Contact Joey Bunch at joey.bunch@coloradopolitics.com or follow him on Twitter @joeybunch.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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