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Environmental impact statements (EISs) should analyze the potential for energy efficiency to reduce the adverse impacts of new projects, to make the projects smaller, or to provide more benign alternatives. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its state counterparts require EISs for major actions, and provide numerous opportunities for public participation in the EIS process. These opportunities can be used to press for greater consideration, and perhaps adoption, of energy efficiency measures. This paper serves as a guide to commenting on and challenging EISs on the basis of insufficient consideration of the issues of energy efficiency and conservation. It discusses the statutory and regulatory basis underlying the consideration of energy efficiency and conservation in EISs and then tracks the EIS regulatory pathway, pointing out where and how energy efficiency comments can be injected into the NEPA process. The paper concludes with a discussion of the procedural course for bringing NEPA litigation.


Environmental Law | Law