GAIN Statement on Status of Permitting Reform Legislation

Following enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress is set to consider legislation containing reforms to America’s permitting process for energy infrastructure development. The deal between Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Congressional Democratic leadership, and the White House would deliver much needed regulatory relief to many energy projects that continue to face increased regulatory hurdles and red tape. While the legislation has yet to be released, a framework outlining its key provisions indicate it contains approval for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, expedited approval for new clean energy projects, and imposes new time limits on project reviews.

Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they intend to attach a permitting proposal to the spending bill that needs to pass before October. However, in a letter released today, several members of the House Democratic conference announced their opposition to the Manchin permitting bill or its inclusion in stopgap funding legislation.

It remains unclear whether there are enough votes to pass legislation that contains permitting reform language.

The following is a statement from GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens:

“Today’s letter is disappointing to those Americans – and frankly people around the world – who agree that U.S. energy development is critical to a stable global economy and maintaining a balance of power around the globe. It’s shocking that – in the midst of a global energy crisis when Russia is weaponizing its energy supply in a tense build up against our allies in Europe – elected U.S. officials would side with countries that would oppose common sense energy policy.

Modernizing environmental regulations would streamline environmental reviews of energy infrastructure projects, such as onshore and offshore wind farms, solar projects, pipelines, and transmission lines. For years, experts have identified bureaucratic red tape as a leading reason energy infrastructure projects are delayed or canceled.

Washington politics often get in the way of good policy. The GAIN Coalition remains hopeful that Congress will pass some iteration of permitting legislation.”