What They Are Saying: Support for Capito, Barrasso Bills to Reform Permitting and Environmental Review Process
May 17, 2023 - Recently, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, introduced two pieces of legislation to substantively reform the nation’s broken permitting and environmental review processes.
Since introduction, Ranking Member Capito’s Revitalizing the Economy by Simplifying Timelines and Assuring Regulatory Transparency (RESTART) Act, which covers key reforms in EPW’s jurisdiction to streamline the agency review process with enforceable timelines, implement time limits to prevent endless legal challenges, and modernize current laws while maintaining environmental protections, has received support from a wide range of industry stakeholders, businesses organizations, and environment and energy advocates.
Here’s What They Are Saying:
West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President, Steve Roberts: “The United States is blessed with vast natural resources that can guarantee energy security and independence for our country and our allies, but all too often we see pipelines and manufacturing facilities be held up for years while permits are challenged by opposing groups. [The RESTART Act] makes important changes to our laws to ensure that our environment is being protected but that qualified projects can quickly move forward…Senator Capito has always been a leader in bringing together senators from both parties in a bi-partisan fashion and this bill promises to be one of those issues where real progress can be made to improve the lives of our citizens.”
West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) President, Rebecca R. McPhail: “The RESTART Act will help to reduce unnecessary delays and costs associated with the permitting process, while still ensuring that projects adhere to important environmental and safety standards. We also appreciate the focus of the RESTART Act on ensuring greater collaboration between federal and state agencies, and addresses meaningful enforcement mechanisms, and making changes to NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water Act in order to overcome delays in current processes. The RESTART Act recognizes that a healthy environment and economy need not be mutually exclusive. Again, the WVMA strongly supports the RESTART Act, and I urge you to continue to champion this important legislation. The reforms you have proposed will help to revitalize America's infrastructure, create jobs, and boost economic growth.”
Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia (GO-WV) Executive Director, Charlie Burd: “We believe the Revitalizing the Economy by Simplifying Timelines and Assuring Regulatory Transparency (RESTART) Act includes smart policies capable of overcoming our nation’s historic lag in building any critical infrastructure, including pipelines, power plants, and export facilities to share our energy abundance domestically and with the world…The time to build is now. Let’s use the RESTART Act to build world-class, American-made infrastructure once again.”
West Virginia Coal Association President, Chris Hamilton: “The West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) fully supports the reforms embodied in the RESTART and SPUR Acts. The permitting reforms contained in the legislation addresses serious and chronic issues that have plagued the efficient permitting of coal projects for decades, undermining investment in West Virginia and furthering the self-inflicted energy crisis that has increased electricity and manufacturing costs across the country…WVCA and its members believe the RESTART and SPUR Acts will assure our ability to not only provide good paying jobs and tax revenues to sustain West Virginia communities but also secure the nation's energy supply and industrial manufacturing capability.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Policy, Marty Durbin: “We applaud Senators Capito and Barrasso for introducing legislation to provide meaningful reforms to our broken permitting process. Their bills would bring greater predictability, efficiency, and transparency to the process by establishing clear timelines and codifying important reforms. Reforms included in these bills would help us build robust supply chains for critical minerals used in everything from electric vehicles to cell phones, ensure adequate supplies of natural gas to support the on-going energy transition, and build better transportation infrastructure to move people and goods more efficiently. This is another important step to propel momentum toward Congress enacting permitting reform this year, and we look forward to working with both senators.”
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President, Jay Timmons: “On behalf of the 13 million men and women who make things in America, the National Association of Manufacturers commends [Ranking Members Capito and Barrasso] for introducing the RESTART and SPUR Acts, commonsense bills that reform our out-of-date permitting laws and procedures. America’s success and leadership in the world depend on a strong, competitive manufacturing industry, and permitting reform is essential for manufacturers in the U.S. to compete in a global economy… The RESTART and SPUR Acts make progress on many shared priorities that were discussed at last week’s Environment and Public Works Committee hearing. Manufacturers are particularly interested in consolidating the permitting process with a lead agency and enacting enforceable deadlines... The NAM stands ready to work with you and your colleagues to advance this legislation and other policies that strengthen our industry’s ability to compete.”
American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO, Mike Sommers: “Modernizing our permitting process will speed up approvals, create American jobs, and enable the faster movement of energy where it is needed most. Thanks to new bills from Senators Barrasso and Capito we are another step closer to bipartisan permitting reform, and we will continue to work with lawmakers to achieve durable reform for the benefit of all Americans.”
Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America Vice President of Government Relations, Jimmy Christianson: “The RESTART Act will provide regulatory certainty for the construction industry while ensuring construction projects are not unnecessarily delayed. Specifically, it will deter unwarranted litigation and mitigate permitting review delays at federal agencies. Finally, it will clearly define the waters of the United States that determines which waters are regulated by the federal government and which fall under the jurisdiction of state and local governments.”
National Mining Association (NMA) President & CEO, Rich Nolan: “Senators Barrasso and Capito have long been champions for commonsense solutions to fix the broken permitting and environmental review processes that have hampered access to our natural resources and imperiled our supply chains; this week they have introduced two pieces of legislation that can meaningfully improve both and place the U.S. firmly back on competitive footing. Over the past year, we have seen Congress and the Biden administration signal support for further development of stable mineral supply chains on which our national security, economy and energy future rely, through tax incentives, loan programs and grants. But if we can’t get a mine permitted, the money is irrelevant. Serious mine permitting reforms are sorely needed, and we applaud Sens. Barrasso and Capito for leading the way.”
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Michele Stanley: “We profoundly thank Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for advancing the RESTART Act. This legislation includes critical reforms that will give aggregates producers the certainty they need to access the material needed to build. Specifically, the legislation provides a long sought solution to decades of confusion related to the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The RESTART Act also takes essential steps to streamline the project permitting timeline and reduces activist litigation opportunities that have stalled necessary infrastructure improvements for decades. In addition to other reforms included in the legislation, the RESTART Act provides commonsense permitting and project review reforms to build in America, lower prices, and protect the environment. We also praise the leadership of Ranking Member John Barrasso (WY) and members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee for introducing the SPUR Act. This legislation will open new energy markets, unleashing American energy independence.”
National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President, Erik Milito: "NOIA thanks Senators Barrasso and Capito for pursuing robust legislative certainty for American offshore energy production. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is an enduring source of affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible energy. These bills take critical steps to codify an annual minimum of two Gulf lease sales and tighten key permitting timelines, and would be a significant step toward bolstering energy security for Americans at home and for our allies abroad. Supporting Gulf of Mexico energy production and our energy workers throughout the country is in our national interest and should always be a bipartisan priority."
Waters Advocacy Coalition, Chair Courtney Briggs: “We applaud Sen. Shelley Moore Capito for introducing a WOTUS solution to deliver certainty and predictability long awaited by American farmers, builders, manufacturers, energy producers and small businesses. Cementing a transparent, workable definition of waters of the United States into law will finally put an end to the decades long debate over which waters are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. While promoting clean water, Sen. Capito’s legislative proposal will also free small businesses across the nation to create jobs, grow the economy and produce high-quality goods and services with confidence.”
American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President of Public Policy, Sam Kieffer: “The American Farm Bureau Federation appreciates Sen. Capito’s efforts with the RESTART Act to address the overreach of federal agencies. Providing clarity to the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act is a step toward bringing balance to unfair regulations that hinder the efforts of farmers and ranchers as they work to put food on the table for America’s families.”
America First Policy Institute Chair of the Center for American Freedom and former Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, “Senator Barrasso and Senator Capito’s common sense legislation would help reform the broken bureaucratic permitting process that is stifling American innovation, businesses, and consumers. Extreme environmental activists within the leviathan bureaucracy are holding the American economy hostage by killing off critical infrastructure projects with an endless sea of litigation and job-killing red tape. This vital legislation would help to unleash American energy and lower prices for hardworking Americans who are being crushed by the Biden Administration’s war on American energy.”
The Fertilizer Institute President & CEO, Corey Rosenbusch: “The fertilizer industry has long recognized the importance of streamlining the NEPA permitting process and other inefficient and unclear regulatory programs, including a more clearly defined WOTUS definition and challenges with the New Source Review program. S. 1449 (RESTART Act) is a step in the right direction to provide the clarity necessary for industry to thrive within clearly defined rules and processes...S. 1449 will help expand domestic fertilizer production so that the fertilizer industry can continue producing safe and efficient crop nutrient products in an environmentally sustainable way to feed a growing global population.”
For bill text of the RESTART Act, click here.
For a section by section of the RESTART Act, click here.
For a one pager on the RESTART Act, click here.
For bill text of the SPUR Act, click here.
For a section by section of the SPUR Act, click here.
For a one pager of the SPUR Act, click here.