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White House: No Single Fix for Permitting Lags

There isn’t a “simple solution” for enacting comprehensive permitting reform for energy projects, White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi said recently, according to E&E News’ GREENWIRE (subscription). 

What’s going on: “The White House and Congress have been locked in contentious talks over how to overhaul the process for greenlighting big energy projects. Advocates of a renewable energy buildout and fossil fuel expansions agree that reforms should be made beyond those in the debt ceiling deal, but they’re divided on how to get there.”

  • Barring congressional passage of thorough reform legislation, there’s no single easy workaround, Zaidi said during a recent webinar, adding that capacity building should be a priority, as should “finding ways to build out electric transmission capacity on public lands, where the federal government has jurisdiction.”

Why it’s important: The current approvals process for critical energy infrastructure is far lengthier and more complicated than it is in European countries with comparable environmental standards, NAM Vice President of Domestic Economic Policy Brandon Farris told Congress at a recent hearing.

What we’re doing: The NAM has led the industry’s push for permitting reform, which will boost American competitiveness. Just in July, after helping to secure some reforms in the debt ceiling deal, the NAM urged Congress to take specific action in five areas: judicial review, transmission lines, regulatory certainty, enforceable deadlines and critical minerals.

  • “Permitting reform will continue to be a top priority for the NAM as we work to ensure that the U.S. permitting system and regulatory environment allow manufacturers to compete at a global level,” Farris said.​​​​​​
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