A recent piece by the Wall Street Journal editorial board titled “Did Biden Forget Permitting Reform” discussed President Joe Biden’s recent State of the Union address and highlighted where he failed to encourage true bipartisanship on the important issue of improving the permitting process for domestic infrastructure projects.
Infrastructure took center stage during Biden’s address, as he advertised the success of the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law in last year. Yet, his focus on infrastructure only made the absence of energy permitting reform even more obvious.
Right now in our country, it is extremely burdensome to get approval for an infrastructure project. The Wall Street Journal points out that it’s not just fossil fuel projects that Democrats are happy to block. Red tape is holding up Democrat priorities as well. Renewable energy infrastructure is subject to similar bureaucratic hurdles and roadblocks.
Permitting reform should be a bipartisan issue. Support for improving American infrastructure is directly tied to reforming the permitting process. All the money in the world won’t do much good if the road, bridge, or wind farm can’t get approved. Even if the companies go through with it, the approval process is so long and arduous that not many investors want to take on the challenge. Yet, progressive democrats are so focused on tanking fossil fuel projects that they are willing to sink the entire ship. And President Biden is willing to stand aside and cheer them on as they do it – infrastructure “priorities” be damned.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board put it well when they said that Biden’s speech was covered in “a bipartisan coat of paint.” He talked a lot about bipartisanship, but all of the substance of the speech was purely progressive priorities. The President should approach the 118th congress as an opportunity to pass bipartisan permitting legislation so that domestic infrastructure projects, such as pipelines or export facilities, are no longer unnecessarily delayed.