Patrice Douglas: Biden’s Permitting Proposal Would Backfire, Add Red Tape for Affordable Energy Projects

Patrice Douglas, an attorney and former chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, detailed the direct attack on traditional oil and gas by the Biden administration’s new NEPA reforms in a recent piece she authored for RealClear Energy. In July, the White House Council on Environmental Quality published a new proposal aimed at accelerating renewables while adding excessive red tape for traditional energy projects. This unfair proposal tiptoes around the actual problem with the permitting process and is bound to fail.

Permitting reform has been under more consideration this year, taking a step forward with the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). However, there is much more work needed to be done for a streamlined process, ensuring detailed and timely reviews for all projects that will bolster our nation’s energy production. The new NEPA proposal would allow agencies to flag certain projects as not having significant environmental impact, expediting their processes while leaving others behind. An additional facet of this proposal includes reversing a rule that reigned in the cumbersome comment period—which would elongate the permitting process—and codifying environmental justice into law.

Douglas writes, “It is imperative that the Biden administration fully address the inefficiencies of the current permitting process, as well as the shortfalls of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, to ensure a strong energy sector for years to come. Instead of picking winners and losers and giving short cuts to certain energy projects, the Biden Administration should apply thorough but efficient reviews to all projects.”

It’s time to get real permitting reform back on the table. Disadvantaging any type of energy project, and expediting others, especially ones that are unreliable and costly, will cost the American people opportunities and threaten our national security.

Read Patrice Douglas’ op-ed here: RealClear Energy