Joe Manchin fights energy project permitting again 2023

On Tuesday morning, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., unveiled a new effort to simplify federal permitting for energy infrastructure projects.

As part of the endeavor, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Manchin is reintroducing his Building American Energy Security Act. His office says the proposal will initiate congressional discussions on “reforming energy permitting to ensure American energy security and independence.”

‘There is broad bipartisan awareness that our current permitting processes aren’t working,’

“In the United States, it often takes between five and ten years — sometimes longer — to get critical energy infrastructure projects approved, putting us years behind allies like Canada, Australia, and more recently the EU, who each have policies designed to complete permitting in three years or less,” Manchin said.

“It is clear that without comprehensive permitting reform we will never ensure lasting American energy security and independence and will delay progress on environmental goals,” he concluded.

“I am introducing the Building American Energy Security Act today to restart the Senate conversation about accelerating our permitting process as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee continues to discuss, consider, and act on advancing this critical topic.”

Manchin submitted the Building American Energy Security Act in September 2022 after Congress and President Biden passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The bill was described as an essential companion to the IRA to expedite federal approvals for green energy projects.

After the legislation stalled, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed in December to attach it to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Biden and green energy groups supported but environmental groups opposed. The Senate rejected the amendment 47-47, with 40 Democrats and seven Republicans supporting the bill.

Comprehensive permitting reform is bipartisan. The bipartisan Building American Energy Security Act will begin.

The Building American Energy Security Act would limit permitting processes to two years for major projects and one year for smaller ones. It would require a single inter-agency environmental review and allow project developers to sue the federal government for permission delays.

The bill also limits legal challenges to projects, directs the White House to regularly designate at least 25 high-priority energy infrastructure projects, and strengthens federal authority over interstate electric transmission facilities in the national interest.

“This permitting reform proposal would speed our country along the road to energy independence,” American Clean Power Association Chief Advocacy Officer JC Sandberg said on Dec. 14. “Burdensome energy generation and transmission rules and regulations are creating major obstacles to building clean energy projects that will significantly reduce our foreign dependence.”

“This legislation allows us to strengthen our energy security while delivering clean, abundant, and affordable power that Americans are demanding,” Sandberg said. It will also boost American employment. This is an opportunity for bipartisan energy solutions.

Leave a Reply