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President Donald Trump on Thursday is expected to propose sweeping changes to a landmark environmental protection law to make it easier to approve of major infrastructure projects like oil and gas pipelines.
The proposed regulations would update how federal agencies implement the National Environmental Policy Act, a law aimed at ensuring that the government protects the environment when reviewing such projects as building roads and bridges or logging in forests.
The change would be the first in 40 years by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, which coordinates U.S. environmental efforts by federal agencies and other White House offices.
The council is expected to announce that federal agencies will not be required to consider "cumulative" climate change impacts when considering federal projects, said two people familiar with the council's rule-making.
The council oversees how nearly 80 government agencies meet their obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Trump's remarks come as a trial over his impeachment looms in the Senate and amid tensions between the United States and Iran following the Trump administration's decision to kill Iran's top commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in an airstrike in Baghdad. That move led to a retaliatory strike from Iran on U.S. targets in Iraq.
Soleimani led an elite branch of Iran's armed forces, the Quds Force, and has been blamed for the deaths of many Americans across the Middle East.