Over the past two years, Congress has passed a series of landmark bills that together fund more than $500 billion in clean energy investment, the largest to date. Most importantly, generous tax incentives could stimulate many trillions of dollars in direct private sector investment, creating strength in the advanced energy sector in the United States. However, at the moment, the broken US energy permit system is causing failures on thousands of major projects, imposing extremely high costs in terms of time and money to build clean infrastructure projects, if they are built at all.
Congress had a chance to fix this barrier Bill to allow reformBut despite their claim to support reform, Senate Republicans actually killed the measure in an outright political effort to deny Democrats a popular political victory. Democrats must turn the tables on the Republican Party, making the economic and climate costs of this hypocritical act a major campaign issue in the upcoming midterm elections.
Ironically, in the name of protecting the environment, a harmful process has developed over decades, with unnecessary and redundant government reviews and annoying lawsuits often driving the average time needed to allow 4.3 years to transmit electricity, 3.5 years for pipelines and 2.7 years for renewable energy projects. Only in the mid-Atlantic and the valley near Ohio, there are more than 2,500 projects awaiting approval, 95 percent of which are related to renewable energy. In fact, a New Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) report. He found that without broad permitting and regulatory reforms, the expected significant economic and emissions-reduction benefits from recent laws would be greatly limited, and would fail to achieve policy goals.
Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), with the support of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DNY), introduced legislation that would set one- and two-year targets for reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, improve cross-agency coordination on complex reviews, and expand The fastest review types, allowing the president to create a list of high priority energy projects across the traditional and clean energy categories.
However, historically it has been Republicans who are to be commended for their endorsement of these reforms. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has introduced legislation similar to Manchin’s proposal for many years. Under the Trump administration, interagency reviews have been more effectively coordinated under a system called “One Federal Decision” but purposely mixed with draconian changes to undermine environmental rules. Mansion Schumer’s proposal will avoid these pitfalls.
Crucially, the Mansion bill would make building transmission lines much easier, Enabling renewable energy generation where it is cheaper and consuming it when needed. The pending bill would also simplify the process requirements for obtaining clean water certification and lay the groundwork for innovative clean hydrogen pipelines.
true that 77 House Democrats objected the bill as part of a government funding measure, as did a few senators. This misguided liberal opposition misses the forest for trees. The current regulatory system tends toward the fossil energy status quo, while combating climate change will require clean, far-reaching and far-reaching energy generation that can only be achieved through expedited permits.
Fortunately, thoughtful House and Senate climate hawks, including Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minnesota), Martin Heinrich (DN.M), and Ron Wyden (Raw Democrat), came out to support the deal. . President Biden also backed the legislation, calling it an “important step forward” to “unleash the potential” of clean energy projects.
But Republicans killed the measure last week. and A counterproposal, with the support of most Senate Republicans, It leans heavily toward conventional energy development and would undermine many other environmental norms while avoiding obvious reforms of renewables and transmission, at all. This is shortsighted in economic terms, as in allowing pending reform Create millions of new jobsAnd the Reducing consumption energy costs And the creation of a strong new sector of the US economy could also be a driver of exports.
pointed mansion to the security risks of a Republican blockage, noting that “a failed vote on something as critical as allowing sweeping reform only encourages leaders like [Russia President Vladimir] Putin’s desire to see America fail,” another potential political line of attack for Democrats.
many of respected studies Finding that the United States cannot meet the economic promise or climate goals of newly passed clean energy laws without allowing overhaul. However, the right of centrist economy hawks who claim to be against excessive regulations prevent these economic benefits. This amounts to hypocrisy by Republicans, threatening the economic growth of the United States as well as climate protection solely for political reasons.
Republicans and Democrats should support pending legislation if there is another attempt to pass Manchin’s reform proposals as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. If that proves impossible, Democrats should make allowing reform a prominent economic, security and climate issue in the November elections. This, in turn, can lead to going through a “lame duck” session after Election Day. Otherwise, Congress risks undermining much of the good work it has done over the past two years.
Paul Bledsoe is a strategic advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and served on the Clinton White House Climate Change Task Force.
Elan Sykes is an energy policy analyst at PPI and previously served on the Climate Leadership Council.