Western Caucus Members Highlight Need for Permitting Reform in Rural Communities

  • Permitting Special Order Hour

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Vice Chair Pete Stauber (MN-08) hosted a Special Order with Congressional Western Caucus Members to talk about our broken permitting process and how it’s impacting folks in rural America.

“As a farmer from Central Washington and as Chairman of the Western Caucus, I see how regulations from the federal government have a disproportionately negative impact on rural communities. This is unfair for many reasons, but the main one being that these are exactly the men and women we should be empowering. In rural America, our livelihoods depend on a healthy environment and our natural resources. We have a vested interest in—and a storied history of—protecting our lands and waters; we just need the federal government to get out of our way,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “That’s why House Republicans have introduced H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to deliver on our promise to unleash American energy and lower prices for all consumers, regardless of industry. H.R. 1 updates our broken permitting process to actually let Americans mine, farm, manufacture, process, and build so our country can grow and thrive once more.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, will modernize our outdated permitting process for projects and allow us to unlock the full potential of America’s energy and mineral resources,” said Vice Chair Pete Stauber (MN-08). “The district that I represent in northern Minnesota, Minnesota’s eighth congressional district, has 95% of America’s nickel reserve. Almost 90% of America’s cobalt reserve, 75% of our platinum metals and more than a third of our copper. All of which are minerals needed for our energy security and mineral supply chains. It's unconscionable that a mining project in my district for these minerals is on year 20 of permitting and litigation. We have the resources and the workforce here in the United States. We just need the will, the political will, to mine here. Whether it be mining, oil and gas, wind, or solar energy, we support all of the above, and all the best energy. But you can't have all the above and all the best without permitting reform.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a great example of why permitting works and exactly why we need more of it. But in this project's case, the administration isn't the problem, it's the left-wing courts who are more radical than Joe Biden, which should really tell you something, who are holding this important pipeline up,” said Rep. Carol Miller (WV-01). “When the pipeline is completed, it will be delivering natural gas within months. Meaning lower energy prices for Americans as supply will dramatically increase. There is no time to waste. Remember that energy security is national security.” Click here to watch her full remarks.

“So, what do we know about H.R. 1, the bill that was discussed here all afternoon? Known as the Lower Energy Costs Act. It will reform the permitting process across industries, cut down on needless red tape and help drive down energy costs for Americans,” said Executive Vice Chair LaMalfa (CA-01). “It's a monumental win for any American who wants to produce energy, use energy, have their costs lowered, have a secure energy supply long-term, instead of importing it from OPEC or China or Russia.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“Today the gap between rural and urban America has never been wider. As our nation advances and urban communities flourish, far too often our rural communities, which are the backbone of this country, get left behind. Collectively, Hoosiers contribute nearly $200 billion to the U.S. economy through our agricultural exports, in spite of the onerous and outdated regulations that limit their growth potential. Across west central Indiana, our farmers and growers continue to express the same sentiment—we need to cut the red tape that limits our producers and get the federal government out of the way,” said Rep. Jim Baird (IN-04). “America's energy independence and rural America’s success hinges on our ability to create an efficient and modernized permitting process. It's time for us to get the federal government out of the way and give rural America the tools they need to continue feeding and fueling this nation and the world to the very best of their ability.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“I rise today in support of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which does something a little unusual for a piece of legislation: it actually does what it says it's going to do. The Lower Energy Costs Act. It's going to lower costs for Americans and, in particular, in my state of California where we pay the highest energy costs in the country,” said Rep. Kevin Kiley (CA-03). “It will do that by lowering utility bills, by reducing gas prices, and by reducing the cost of everyday goods by reducing the cost of transport. And it will do this by making our country more energy independent, enhancing our capacity for domestic energy production.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

“You go to Vilas County in the 7th congressional district in Wisconsin right near where I live and there’s a small town that is attempting to get a road project via federal funding with the infrastructure bill. The quote that they have gotten as a result of having to go through federal permitting is $1.5 million to fix 2.6 miles of road. I went to a local road contractor, and asked them how much would it cost if you didn’t have to go through the federal process? Half of that. $750,000,” said Vice Chair Tom Tiffany (WI-07). “We are not going to get the bang for our buck and get more projects done, including ones that could benefit the environment, as a result of paying far more for that federal permitting process.” Click here to watch his full remarks.

Click here to watch the entire Special Order.

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