Indigenous Environmental Network
Key Points on the Energy Independence and Security Act

27 September, 2022

IEN Statement: 

Last week, the official text of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022 (EISA) was released. Key changes include gutting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), fast-tracking the Mountain Valley Pipeline, ensuring more fossil fuel projects and silencing dissent. Yesterday, the Democrats released H.R. 6833, the budget reconciliation package that — if passed — will continue to fund the government through mid December. The EISA is included in the new 237 page document, though the amendments to the Clean Water Act have been removed for now. 

How is the EISA harmful?

It Silences Dissent and Opposition to Destructive Projects

Comment deadlines for “agencies” (including Tribal governments and local agencies) and the public are extremely limiting, especially for Indigenous Peoples, communities of color, frontline communities, and Tribal governments. (SEC.12)

It Guarantees New Fossil Fuel Projects

The EISA requires the president to designate 25 energy projects deemed of “strategic importance.” A closer look at the proposed projects exposes false solutions and handouts to extractive, polluting industries. (SEC.13)

Redefining “Natural Gas” to Facilitate Dangerous Hydrogen Projects

The EISA amended the Natural Gas Act to include mixed and unmixed hydrogen under the definition of natural gas. (SEC. 23)

It Expedites Dirty Energy Projects 

The EISA expedites the authorization and review processes for energy projects despite risks of ineffective and poor assessment of environmental and justice impacts. (SEC. 12)

It Ensures the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and others will be fast-tracked

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a fracked-gas pipeline that would pierce through West Virginia and Virginia, encroaching onto the lands of Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities, among others. (SEC. 24)

(The provision below was removed as of 26 Sept 22 but it may reappear in the future)

It Weakens Tribal and State Review of Energy Projects Under the Clean Water Act (CWA)

The EISA significantly weakens the Clean Water Act (CWA) by restricting Tribal and State governments’ ability to deny or meaningfully comment on certifications for federal energy projects that have detrimental impacts to Tribal Nations, local, frontline, and Indigenous Communities. (SEC. 21)


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