Permitting Reform to Ride on Debt Increase?

On May 10, the White House released new permitting priorities to advance its climate change policy goals. The White House touched on a few reforms that AGC has previously supported, such as reducing the length of federal decision documents, reasonable decision time frames for projects, and improving federal coordination and information sharing. However, the priorities are limited to largely transmission and renewable energy projects as well as clean energy infrastructure.

Recent reports and news stories have highlighted that for the Biden administration to achieve its 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. You might remember, last week AGC reported on the latest Republican plans for permitting reform.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just proposed new source performance standards that would require significant emissions cuts from fossil fuel power generation through technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). This will make permitting those projects even harder.

It is still to be determined whether the White House and Congress can reach a deal and include permitting reform as part of a debt limit increase. Although the likelihood of this is looking better as both chambers of Congress are deliberating permitting reform. AGC expects the bill to become law on or before June 5, when the Treasury Department estimates a possible credit default. As always, AGC continues to press for meaningful permitting reforms that accelerate project delivery without harming the environment. Click here to read AGC’s Key Vote Letter sent to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 30.

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