The U.S. Senate has approved a resolution to roll back the Biden administration’s changes to environmental permitting regulations for infrastructure and energy projects, according to POLITICO Pro’s E&E News and The Washington Times (both subscription).
What happened: In a 50-47 vote Thursday afternoon, with Sen. Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting “yes,” the Senate approved the Congressional Review Act resolution to undo National Environmental Policy Act regulation changes put in place by the White House earlier this year. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
- “‘It is quite simple,’ Sullivan said [yesterday] about his proposal,” according to E&E. “‘It would rescind the new Biden NEPA rule—promulgated in April—which will clearly have the impact of slowing down the construction of every infrastructure project in America.’”
- Sullivan also mentioned the NAM in particular as part of a “huge, broad-based group” supporting the proposal.
Why it’s important: Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urged fellow Republicans to get rid of the NEPA regulation, which would undo recent modernization of the 52-year-old NEPA law.
- “‘[The] Biden rule reinstates sweeping jurisdiction for federal bureaucrats to slow down all sorts of critical infrastructure,’” he said, according to the Times. “‘The Democratic action is taking a process already known for years-long waiting periods and multi-hundred-page federal reports and making it worse.’”
Coming up: The House will next consider Sullivan’s legislation in September, when it returns from recess. And the Senate is set to consider a deal struck between the White House, Schumer and Manchin to streamline permitting.
- “‘I hope every Republican that voted for this legislation today will support the bipartisan permitting reform bill when it comes before the Senate in September,’ [Manchin] said,” according to the Times.
Our view: The NAM urged support for the resolution ahead of the vote.
- Afterward, President and CEO Jay Timmons tweeted, “We must do everything in our power to protect our energy security and bolster manufacturing competitiveness. @ShopfloorNAM thanks @SenDanSullivan and all who voted Yes to repeal this rule as we work with policymakers to advance real permitting reforms.”