Comprehensive Capito-led GOP bill would reform national permits and project reviews

On Sept. 12, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) led more than 40 Republicans to propose legislation to reform federal permits and project reviews.

“As our calls for action and offers to see the legislative text of the authorization agreement go unheeded, Republicans are introducing this legislation today to provide solutions to roadblocks, delays, and postponements. of key infrastructure projects across the country,” Sen said. Capitol Monday.

As sponsor of the Simplify Timelines and Assure Regulatory Transparency (START) Act, S. 4815, which now has 45 co-sponsors, Senator Capito said the bill will bring regulatory certainty to states, expedite licensing processes and review, will codify substantial environmental regulatory reforms. , and expediting approval for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline under construction that will run from southern Virginia to northwest West Virginia.

“Republicans are united in working toward needed permit reform, and this legislation is a model to help communities benefit from the opportunity to finally bring critical projects across the finish line,” said Senator Capito, prominent member of the United States Senate. Committee on the Environment and Public Works, which examines the bill.

If enacted, Section 4815 would codify several elements of the Trump administration, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations; the definition of “United States waters” in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule under the Clean Water Act; and the Section 401 certification rule under the Clean Water Act to prevent state actions that unreasonably block energy projects, according to a two-page bill summary provided by Sen. Capito’s office.

The bill would also prohibit the use and adoption of the Biden administration’s interim estimates for the “social cost of greenhouse gases” and any other estimates that could raise gasoline prices, the bill says. summarized, and would codify key elements of the single federal decision-making framework for energy projects, including timely project approvals, permit review timelines for projects that do not exceed two years, and limits on length pages of environmental documents.

In addition, the measure would grant states sole authority to enact or enforce any regulations, guidance, or permit requirements regarding hydraulic fracturing on or under any land within their borders, and allow states to develop a regulatory program governing leasing and energy licensing. activities on its federal territory.

And among several other proposed provisions, the measure would expedite approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project within 21 days of enactment, the summary says.

Among the members co-sponsoring S. 4815 are the US Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Todd Young (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Lisa Murkowski (R -AK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tim Scott (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

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