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COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Energy Task Force
AGENCY: COUNCIL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments
SUMMARY: On May 18, 2001, the President signed Executive Order
13212 recognizing the importance of environmentally sound production and transmission
of energy to all American people. The Order established a federal interagency
task force ("Task Force"), chaired by the Chairman of the Council
on Environmental Quality ("CEQ"), to work with and monitor federal
agencies efforts to expedite their review of permits or take other actions
as necessary to accelerate the completion of energy-related projects, while
maintaining safety, public health, and environmental protections. This task
force is also charged with helping agencies create mechanisms to coordinate
Federal, State, tribal and local permitting in geographic areas where increased
permitting activity is expected. CEQ announces the formation of this
Task Force and invites comments on the proposed nature and scope of
Task Force activities, specific suggestions, and examples of permitting or
other decision making processes which should be improved or streamlined.
DATES: Written comments should be submitted on or before October 1,
ADDRESSES: Direct electronic written comments to Chair, Council on
Quality, through the CEQ web site at www.whitehouse.gov/ceq.
Written comments may
also be submitted to the Chair, Council on Environmental Quality, Executive
the President, 17th and G Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20503. Attention: Task
Written comments may also be faxed to the Task Force at (202) 456-6546.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for copies the "National
Energy Policy Report of the National Energy Policy Development Group"
may be directed to CEQ at the above address. The report is available on the
White House web site (/energy/National-Energy-Policy.pdf)
and on the Department of Energy web site (http://www.energy.gov/HQPress/releases01/maypr/energy_policy.htm).
Copies of the report (ISBN 0-16-050814-2) can also be purchased from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, by calling (202) 512-1800 or
mailing your request to U.S. GPO, Mail Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001.
A. The Task Force will work through an operational approach that addresses
impediments to ederal agencies completion of decisions about energy-related
projects in a way that will increase the production, transmission, and conservation
of energy. The Executive Order requires federal agencies to expedite their review
of permits or take other actions as necessary to accelerate the completion of
energy-related projects, while maintaining safety, public health, and environmental
protections. The Executive Order creates a federal interagency task force, chaired
by CEQ, to work with and monitor federal agencies in expediting their review
of permits, and to help agencies create mechanisms to coordinate Federal, State,
tribal and local permitting in geographic areas where increased permitting activity
B. Executive Order No. 13212, signed by the President in Washington, D.C. on
May 18, 2001, Actions to Expedite Energy-Related Projects, reads:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws
of the United States of America, and in order to take additional steps to expedite
the increased supply and availability of energy to our Nation, it is hereby
ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy.
The increased production and transmission of energy in a safe and environmentally
sound manner is essential to the well-being of the American people. In general,
it is the policy of this Administration that executive departments and agencies
(agencies) shall take appropriate actions, to the extent consistent with applicable
law, to expedite projects that will increase the production, transmission, or
conservation of energy.
Section 2. Actions to Expedite Energy-Related Projects.
For energy-related projects, agencies shall expedite their review of permits
or take other actions as necessary to accelerate the completion of such projects,
while maintaining safety, public health, and environmental protections. The
agencies shall take such actions to the extent permitted by law and regulation,
and where appropriate.
Section 3. Interagency Task Force.
There is established an interagency task force (Task Force) to monitor and assist
the agencies in their efforts to expedite their review of permits or similar
actions, as necessary, to accelerate the completion of energy-related projects,
increase energy production and conservation, and improve transmission of energy.
The Task Force also shall monitor and assist agencies in setting up appropriate
mechanisms to coordinate Federal, State, tribal, and local permitting in geographic
areas where increased permitting activity is expected. The Task Force shall
be composed of representatives from the Departments of State, the Treasury,
Defense, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Commerce, Transportation,
the Interior, Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Energy, Veterans
Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, General
Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Council of Economic
Advisers, Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, and such other
representatives as may be determined by the Chairman of the Council on Environmental
Quality. The Task Force shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Council on Environmental
Quality and housed at the Department of Energy for administrative purposes.
Section 4. Judicial Review.
Nothing in this order shall affect any otherwise available judicial review of
agency action. This order is intended only to improve the internal management
of the Federal Government and does not create any right or benefit, substantive
or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States,
its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
C. The Task Force will work through an operational approach that facilitates
interagency< coordination and addresses impediments to federal agencies completion
of decisions about energy-related projects by functional categories (e.g. pipelines,
conservation, electricity transmission). The Task Force will help manage the
federal agency decision- making processes for setting priorities, scheduling
activities in accordance with those priorities, identifying staffing and resource
needs, facilitating issue resolution, and measuring the achievements of federal
agencies in implementing Executive Order 13212. The Task Force will address
coordination issues regionally, reaching out to states, local communities, tribes,
businesses, and non-governmental organizations. The Task Force will use the
experience gained in streamlining decisions about energy-related projects and
resolving coordination issues to identify opportunities for systemic improvement
and, where appropriate, regulatory or legislative change.
CEQ is currently working with the relevant federal agencies to obtain background
information and designate agency Task Force contacts. CEQ is drafting a charter
for this Task Force that will be available on the CEQ web site, and intends
to use the CEQ Management Fund to create a working group of approximately eight
expert agency representatives responsible for the day-to-day management and
coordination of Task Force activities. CEQ intends to organize the Task Force
work and staff according to the following functional categories: pipelines;
refineries; electricity generation; nuclear; electricity transmission; hydropower;
renewable sources; and conservation. The Task Force will identify regional federal
personnel responsible for prioritizing and implementing expedited permitting,
designate federal leads for each region, and establish cross-agency regional
D. The Task Force expects to receive information from many interested persons
(e.g., public interest groups, government, academia, industry) about particular
energy projects and opportunities to improve agency decisionmaking. Of immediate
need, CEQ seeks basic information about major pending projects or major projects
under development that may be relevant to the Task Force efforts to streamline
energy permitting decisions.
Please submit basic information about major energy projects in the following
- Request for Information and Comments
In order to further the work of this Task Force, CEQ believes that it
would be beneficial
- Name of the project
- Entity proposing the project
- Category of the project -- Pipeline, Electricity Transmission, Electricity
Nuclear, Hydropower, Refinery, Renewable, Conservation, or Other
- Brief description of the project
- Agency or agencies that must be consulted and agencies from which approval
is needed. Please list by the following categories: Federal, State, Tribal,
to have public input on federal agency activities to implement Executive Order
13212. Such input may include recommendations for improving agency activities,
consistent with the purposes and policies of the National Environmental Policy
Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq., 1) to accelerate the completion of
energy-related projects; 2) to increase energy production and conservation;
3) to improve transmission of energy; and 4) to coordinate permitting in geographic
areas where increased permitting activity is
Public comments are requested by October 1, 2001.
Dated: August 10, 2001
James L. Connaughton,
Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality
Council on Environmental Quality
Energy Task Force Information
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Council on Environmental Quality
722 Jackson Place, N.W.
Washington, DC 20503
tele. (202) 395-5750
fax: (202) 456-6546