Casper Star-Tribune | Editorial board: Development reviews shouldn’t take so long to complete

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Right now, the average federal environmental review lasts longer than a presidential term. If work began today on an environmental impact statement, it on average wouldn’t be ready until July 2024.

There are reasons why these assessments shouldn’t be rushed. A development, done wrongly, can harm the environment for generations if not centuries. It can affect the air we breathe and the water we depend on to survive. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to the extinction of a species.

But there has to be a balance between completing these important assessments and the development that helps to drive Wyoming’s economy. Tilting too far in either direction is a mistake.

In many cases, the process currently takes too long. That doesn’t mean we should get rid of protections, but it does suggest there is room for reform.