It’s good for the country, and a condition for passing the Cut Inflation Act – New York Daily News


Bernie Sanders is embarrassed himself. The Vermont senator is throwing a tantrum over Democrats’ plans to tie reforms streamlining energy project approvals to a must-have piece of legislation like a government funding bill. He calls it Joe Manchin’s “side deal,” and that’s about the only thing he’s right about.

Yes, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — along with President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — struck a deal with Manchin of West Virginia in return for his critical support of the Energy Reduction Act. inflation, which became law a month ago.

The agreement, which everyone knew before voting yes or no, was that by the end of the year, the Senate would add provisions cleaning up the incredibly cumbersome, expensive and time-consuming approval process for all kinds of projects. energy on a big, can’t-fail bill, essentially ensuring its passage.

There’s a powerful, pro-environment political argument for doing this, which is why crusading climate change Democratic senators like Tom Carper and Brian Schatz have been the ones pushing the ball forward for years. The average review under the federal National Environmental Policy Act now takes 4.5 years and is over 660 pages.

They’re bureaucratic cinder blocks tied to the ankles of solar, wind, and geothermal projects and grid upgrades, not just oil and gas pipelines, and when they don’t add painful cost and time, they kill many valid upgrades. The vast majority of energy investments that would benefit from rationalization are those that would reduce, not increase, greenhouse gas emissions.

The need to cut red tape here is so evident that the bipartisan infrastructure law passed late last year (which Sanders backed) contained provisions that already do for transportation and other infrastructure projects. what Carper, Schatz, Schumer and Manchin want for energy projects.

Even if Democrats were inclined to break their word, there is a huge stack of excellent political reasons for reforming the licensing process. But why should they want to break their word?


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