Executive order 12,144 is a cross-product of two separate vectors. On one axis it is a statement of foreign policy directing administrative review of the extra territorial environmental effects of major federal activities. On the other it is an alleged resolution of a long-standing intergovernmental controversy concerning the applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to major federal actions having solely nondomestic environmental impacts. In either context, the Order should be viewed as an attempt by the United States to assume a more responsible role in world environmental affairs. This note will examine the Executive Order and compare its environmental review procedures with those mandated by NEPA. It will also evaluate the balance struck by the Order between environmental and foreign policy considerations.
Note, Executive Order 12,114 - Environmental Effects Abroad: Does It Really Further the Purpose of NEPA, 29 Clev. St. L. Rev. 109 (1980)