Jane Luxton, Karen Bennett Quoted by Bloomberg Law in Article on Executive Order Expediting Public Land Projects
Washington, D.C. (July 10, 2020) – Washington D.C. Partners Jane C. Luxton and Karen C. Bennett were quoted in a Bloomberg Law article titled “White House Mum on Land Projects Expedited for Virus.” The article discusses the White House’s decision to prevent the disclosure of the public lands projects that have been fast-tracked in accordance with a recent executive order.
As the article describes, the executive order, issued on June 4, allowed the Interior, Agriculture, and Defense secretaries to provide the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a report identifying public lands infrastructure projects that they planned to expedite in an effort to boost the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration has declined to reveal to the public the list of projects that have been fast-tracked.
Ms. Luxton, who is a co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Environmental and Administrative Law Practice, told Bloomberg Law that there was nothing alarming about the OMB concealing the fast-tracked projects. “It’s not unusual with these executive orders for the results of them not to be public,” she said. “I’m sure OMB views this essentially as an internal management process to focus agencies on projects that should get additional attention,” she added.
In commenting on the recent executive order, Ms. Bennett, who serves as co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Environmental and Administrative Law Practice along with Ms. Luxton, explained, “I think these executive orders have been a continuous drum raising the agency heads’ focus on the economy, and using Covid now to make sure they look through their pipeline and do everything they can to be consistent with the law.” She further noted, “And now the executive order gives them an initiative to keep things moving.”
Ms. Bennett also told Bloomberg Law that she was confident that the administration would follow federal law. She explained that she would counsel clients that had a project pending in a years-long National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approval process that they may find it helpful to get on the fast-tracking list.
Ms. Luxton is the administrative partner of Lewis Brisbois' Washington, D.C. office. In addition to co-chairing the Environmental and Administrative Law Practice, she also serves as co-chair of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Practice, co-chair of the Government Relations Group, and vice-chair of the Consumer Financial Services Practice. Ms. Luxton has extensive experience in environmental as well as other federal regulatory, policy, and litigation matters. She advises businesses, associations, and coalitions in navigating all levels of the federal regulatory process, including appellate advocacy.
Ms. Bennett is a partner in Lewis Brisbois’ Washington, D.C. office. In addition to co-chairing the Environmental and Administrative Law Practice, she also serves as co-chair of the Government Relations Group. Ms. Bennett assists her clients in resolving regulatory problems, focusing primarily on permitting, compliance, litigation, and legislative and regulatory policy under several federal laws.
You can read the full article here.