Fix the Broken Permitting Process, NAM Tells Congress
A continuous regulatory onslaught is hamstringing the permitting process for U.S. energy and infrastructure projects—and thus reducing manufacturing competitiveness and harming the U.S. economy, NAM Vice President of Energy & Resources Policy Brandon Farris told Congress on Tuesday.
What’s going on: By consolidating and cleaning up our infrastructure permitting regulations, the U.S. can advance multiple top policy priorities, Farris said at “The Next Fifty Years of the Clean Water Act: Examining the Law and Infrastructure Project Completion,” a hearing of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
- “Streamlining and modernizing our nation’s permitting laws and procedures will help us advance many of our nation’s shared priorities, improving the quality of life for all communities; modernizing our infrastructure; achieving energy security; ramping up critical mineral production; enhancing manufacturing competitiveness and creating manufacturing jobs in the U.S.,” Farris said. “These are goals that all Americans can support.”
Why the wait? Current wait times for the approval of critical manufacturing facilities, roads, bridges and more are needlessly lengthy, and they’re forcing business overseas, Farris continued.
- “Why should we settle for a permitting process that can take 10 or 15 years to approve essential projects?” he asked, adding that in Australia, a country with similar environmental protections, approvals take about two to three years.
- One manufacturer of critical raw materials for semiconductors recently told the NAM that “because of the regulatory uncertainty in obtaining a Clean Water Act section 402 permit in a timely manner . . . they are going to build a facility in the E.U.” instead of the U.S.
Steps to success: Manufacturers are urging legislators to take several actions to rectify the broken system. These are:
- Consolidate permitting processes—with enforceable deadlines—for the siting of new energy projects and their infrastructure;
- Speed up the approval process for transportation-infrastructure projects;
- Commit to developing our resources to strengthen U.S. supply chains for the critical minerals vital to national security;
- Ensure that the Biden administration follows congressional intent on all streamlining efforts, including the One Federal Decision, a Transportation Department approach that seeks to expedite certain federal environmental reviews.
The last word: “Permitting reform will help us achieve more—more manufacturing, more domestic energy production, more inputs and raw materials and more jobs,” Farris concluded. “And our country and the world will be better off if we and our allies do not depend on our authoritarian rivals for energy and other natural resources.”
Manufacturers Unveil Competitiveness Agenda Ahead of Midterm Elections
“Competing to Win” offers a path for bringing the country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org