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AFPI & TPPF: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION MOVES TO THWART CRITICAL PERMITTING REFORM—SIDESTEPPING FEDERAL TRANSPARENCY AND CRIPPLING THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE

July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The America First Policy Institute (AFPI) and The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Life:Powered project submitted joint comments to the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality opposing a proposed rule to thwart a major reform action taken by the Trump Administration.

“Lengthy permitting processes have long been a serious drag on the nation’s economy. Multi-year approval processes driven by bloated, complex, and burdensome regulations prevent necessary development and weaken economic growth—leaving stranded capital, crumbling infrastructure, and fewer jobs for Americans,” said The Honorable David Bernhardt, Chairman of AFPI’s Center for American Freedom. “The Trump Administration made much needed progress by reforming the National Environmental Policy Act to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and enforce reasonable timelines without sacrificing environmental standards. The Biden Administration’s attempt to reverse course and undo critical reforms comes as the Senate considers the latest infrastructure bill; we would do well to remember that no matter how great the spending, it cannot be turned into real building without meaningful permitting reforms. The Biden Administration should build upon, not backtrack, on critical reforms.”

“The Trump Administration’s reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act were a critical step toward reducing draconian regulations on our nation’s infrastructure development — restoring limited government and removing unneeded delays, complexities, and burdens,” said The Honorable Rick Perry, Chairman of AFPI’s Center for Energy Independence. “What’s worse than unraveling these reforms is that the Biden Administration deliberately sidestepped federal transparency rules, violating the public’s trust in their race to undo the Trump-era policies that helped propel America to record economic growth and energy dominance.”

“America is also a world leader in clean air and clean drinking water, and a clear-headed review of the data shows more heavy-handed regulations are unlikely to yield significant environmental benefits,” said Brent Bennett, Ph.D., Policy Director of Life:Powered. “These policy discussions should happen out in the open, not snuck through using procedural shortcuts. The Biden Administration owes it to the American people to abide by the legal requirements for rule changes — and uphold the NEPA reform rule while it remains on the books.”

Read AFPI and TPPF’s joint comments here.