Senate Republicans Push Permitting Reform

Senate Republicans Capito and Barrasso release the RESTART and SPUR Acts, outlining Republican priorities for meaningful permitting reform.

On May 4, Ranking Member of Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will release the Revitalizing the Economy by Simplifying Timelines and Assuring Regulatory Transparency (RESTART) Act and Ranking Member of Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will release the Spur Permitting of Underdeveloped Resources (SPUR) Act. Together, these bills outline the Senate Republicans priorities for meaningful permitting reform.

Unfortunately, when this story went to print, text of the legislation had not been released. However, AGC has heard from reliable sources that together these bills will put some AGC-recommended boundaries on NEPA analyses and limit the use of the “Social Cost of Carbon” calculation that the Biden administration has used to halt construction projects. In addition, there are provisions to deter unwarranted lawsuits, on which AGC has previously reported and backed.

Recent reports and news stories have highlighted that in order for the Biden administration to achieve their climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, there will need to be meaningful permit reform to help get these renewable energy projects underway. Some Democrats are also concerned about ensuring the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act come to fruition before they face voters. So, will the threat of climate change be enough to finally move the needle on meaningful permitting reform? As always, we will keep you updated on the latest.

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