Republicans Advance Solutions to Ongoing Permitting Challenges
Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a full committee hearing on a discussion draft of the Building United States Infrastructure through Limited Delays and Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act of 2023. Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:
"Overly complicated and repetitive permitting processes have kept shovel-ready projects at bay for far too long. Americans across the country are asking us to modernize outdated laws like NEPA so we can unleash the full potential of U.S. innovation and ingenuity. Congressman Graves has seen these delays firsthand in his home state of Louisiana, where decades-long environmental reviews often prevent necessary development from taking place, limiting job opportunities and keeping local communities in energy poverty. The story is the same in congressional districts across the country. Congressman Graves’ BUILDER Act will implement many of the commonsense reforms America desperately needs, providing the same robust environmental protections in an expedited fashion. It's time to get out of our own way and give American businesses the space to thrive."
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) remains a significant barrier for transportation and infrastructure, energy development and transmission, and wildfire prevention and drought resilience projects. The current permitting process is filled with repetitive, duplicative assessments and prolonged processing, making it difficult for developers to plan, finance and build projects efficiently.
The BUILDER Act would modernize the outdated NEPA statutes to make project reviews more efficient, reduce project costs, spur economic recovery and rebuild America. The bill will reduce costs by reducing delays associated with the environmental review process, imposing practical and predictable project review timelines and clarifying the necessary scope of review. The bill will provide certainty regarding the duties of federal, state, tribal and local governments when conducting environmental reviews and emphasize early coordination and collaboration with the project sponsor. Further, the bill will reduce frivolous litigation by requiring litigants to have participated meaningfully in the NEPA process before filing suit and providing a reasonable timeline of 120 days to file those lawsuits.For more information, click here.
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