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Debt Ceiling Bill Features Permitting Reform

The debt ceiling bill finalized on Sunday—and set to go to a vote in the House this evening—includes meaningful permitting reform measures, according to E&E News (subscription).

What’s going on: The legislation would approve the Mountain Valley pipeline and enact changes to the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • In addition, “a one-year deadline would be placed on the production of environmental impact assessments for new energy projects seeking permits. A two-year maximum would be applied for environmental impact statements.”
  • “The agreement would also expand an existing program to expedite federal permitting for infrastructure projects, known as Fast-41.”
  • And last, though the bill will not include provisions for a large-scale transmission buildup, it will call for a study of grid challenges and recommendations that might fix them.

The NAM says: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons commended policymakers on reaching an agreement:

  • “Manufacturers have been a leading voice for permitting reform, so we are encouraged that this legislation takes critical steps to improve our broken permitting system, helping us more fully leverage our domestic energy sources and expand manufacturing in the United States.”
  • “We will work with Congress and the administration to build on this progress and create a comprehensive bipartisan permitting reform package that also helps unlock the full potential of laws meant to encourage the growth of manufacturing in America, such as the historic infrastructure law and the CHIPS and Science Act.”

The bigger bill: In case you missed it, the debt legislation as a whole would suspend the borrowing limit for the next two years, while also making some spending cuts, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

  • “It would cut spending on domestic priorities favored by Democrats while boosting military spending by about 3%. It also would extend limits on food assistance to some beneficiaries to prod them to find jobs.”

NAM in the news: Timmons’ statements on the debt-limit agreement were picked up by CNN Business and The Hill.

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