U.S. Senator Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., today to introduce the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation designed to streamline and improve the federal permitting process.
The senators said the current system is laden with uncertainty and unpredictability that hinders investment, economic growth, and job creation.
"Federal red tape and lawsuits are two of the biggest job killers our businesses face today. This bill seeks to add a little more common sense to the process," said Enzi. "It would add transparency and put in place some sensible legal reforms. I hope that with the backing of this bipartisan team we can make good progress to get this passed."
"Across America, job creators who want to start new projects are being held back by excessive red tape and a slow federal permitting process," said Barrasso. "In order for our economy to grow, we've got to improve this outdated and bureaucratic permitting system. Our bill will help give employers the certainty they need to move forward with innovative projects, hire new workers and keep our country competitive."
The Wyoming senators were particularly pleased with a section of the bill that would restrict environmental groups to a more reasonable deadline if they plan to bring a lawsuit against a project. Currently anyone or any group that wants to stop a project from moving forward has six years to find a reason for a lawsuit under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Federal Permitting Improvement Act would limit that time to 150 days. The bill also permits courts to consider potential job loss in weighing whether or not to stop a project. Other parts of the bill increase permitting transparency and encourage coordination between agencies.