House Republicans highlight in their debt limit agreement White House provisions that would change the country’s decades-old environmental laws by ending bureaucratic blockades that have stalled energy projects for years.
Republicans say the legislation includes changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, to speed up new projects by limiting certain types of environmental reviews to one or two years.
“It has not been reformed for 40 years. This is a source of frustration for people across the country, on both sides of the aisle. It doesn’t matter if you want to build a road, build a renewable energy project, it’s all been shut down and studied for years,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday. “It’s frustrating. That’s millions of dollars wasted. Everything is changing now so that we can rebuild in America.
“This is a win for the whole country and for both sides of the aisle,” the California Republican said.
Congress has sought for years to overhaul permitting rules, but Democrats and Republicans were previously unable to reach bipartisan agreements on how to change environmental laws and streamline the process.
The GOP-led House is expected to pass the debt ceiling bill next week before moving to the Democratic-controlled Senate, as the country is just days away from the June 5 default deadline. .
“We are reducing the scope [of NEPA]said Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, one of the Republican negotiators. “NEPA grew to study all these things that have nothing to do with the environment, which I would say worked against environmental protection.”