Support Nationwide Permit 12 in Critical Lawsuit

On May 3, 2021, a coalition of five environmental groups filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Montana federal court, alleging that the body failed to consider environmental harms when it re-issued Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) to build oil and gas pipelines across streams. Industry opponents have long argued this permit should not be used for larger pipeline projects and are using this lawsuit as leverage to add fatal roadblocks to critical projects, jeopardizing pipeliner jobs across the country.

Sign our petition below supporting the utilization of NWP 12 for pipeline projects, as it ensures that all infrastructure meets the Army Corps’ high standards for environmental sustainability and safety, while keeping projects on schedule and securing good jobs for industry craftsmen. We will submit this to the appropriate federal court district office.

RE: Case No. CV-21-47-GF-BMM; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2021 Issuance of Nationwide Permit 12

Dear Secretary: 

As an advocate for responsible, efficient energy infrastructure development, I support the use of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 and am disappointed to see this important permit under legal scrutiny once again.

The ability to utilize Nationwide Permit 12 is critical for the development and maintenance of our nation’s vital infrastructure projects, including gas, oil and renewable energy. This court decision could lead to significant roadblocks in the already strenuous permitting process, ultimately jeopardizing jobs for the American workforce at a time when we are just beginning to recover from the COVID-19 economic impacts.

NWP 12 has been issued for important infrastructure projects for decades precisely because regulators understand that it ensures that projects meet the Army Corps’ high standards for environmental safety, while preventing costly delays in project development.

This case is particularly frustrating because it is the second time in as many years that a suit has been brought against NWP 12. The U.S. Supreme Court partially reversed a district court’s decision in 2020 that the Army Corps couldn’t utilize NWP 12 because it hadn’t “adequately assessed” the 2017 version of the permit’s impacts under the Endangered Species Act. The Supreme Court’s decision ultimately reinstated this permit for all projects – except Keystone XL, of course – because it recognized the scrutiny the Army Corps places on its review process for NWP 12. We hope decision makers come to the same conclusion in this case.

I support the use of Nationwide Permit 12, particularly for oil and gas pipelines, for the following key reasons:

  • Prohibiting certain pipeline projects from utilizing NWP 12 could require new and lengthy permitting review and cause costly delays to project development, jeopardizing good jobs for the American workforce and denying critical tax revenue to communities;
  • There is a demonstrated need for more pipelines in the U.S. to fully harness the benefits of domestic energy, specifically to serve communities that are under-served due to a lack of pipeline capacity. It is in our nation’s best interest to support a streamlined NWP 12 program that provides the needed certainty to move projects forward in a timely manner;
  • The Army Corps has reiterated that NWPs only authorize activities that have minimal cumulative adverse effect on the environment, and all NWP 12 projects that may affect listed species are subject to project-specific consultation. Therefore, the issuance of NWP 12 has no effect on species listed under the Clean Water and Endangered Species Act.

The NWP 12 program has been critical in ensuring the efficient and safe development of infrastructure of all kinds – including renewable energy projects. The potential program upheaval stemming from this court ruling could be devastating as it threatens jobs for construction workers across the country, impedes economic growth and hinders our nation’s ability to harness our abundant supply of domestic natural gas and oil. This is why I urge those in power to protect the use of this critical permit.


Supporter of the American Energy Industry

2,182 signatures

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