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Pulling Back the Curtain: Members Demand Answers for CEQ Extremism

  • OI Subcommittee

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a full committee oversight hearing on the environmental agenda of President Joe Biden’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the agency’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget request. Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

"The extremists in the Biden administration converted a once small and narrowly focused agency into an unchecked political leviathan that's weaseled its way into every corner of American life. President Biden has deputized the most extreme members of his administration to advance a radical agenda behind the shadowy curtain of CEQ, waging war on American energy, converting treasured national parks into migrant camps and locking Americans out of their public lands."


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) established CEQ in the 1970s. Housed within the Executive Office of the President, Congress tasked CEQ with overseeing federal agency compliance with NEPA. 

However, Biden has transformed CEQ's role from overseeing NEPA compliance to the entity charged with implementing his eco-agenda, remaking federal agencies as vehicles of social change and leading the war on domestic energy production.


An increase in scope has also led to an increase in funding requests. CEQ’s budget remained relatively stable over the years, until receiving a windfall of funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. From 2019 to 2023, CEQ’s baseline budget grew from $2.89 million to $4.67 million. CEQ also received $62.5 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to support environmental and climate data collection.

CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory has described her role as “focused particularly on addressing the environmental justice and climate change challenges.” CEQ’s chief of staff describes the responsibilities and powers that Biden has bestowed upon CEQ as “unprecedented.”  

Today's hearing allowed members to question Mallory about CEQ's actions that vastly exceed its role and prescribed authority. To learn more, click here