Thursday, a debt ceiling bill just passed in the Senate to improve clean energy projects like EV charging and solar panels in the US.
Debt Ceiling Bill
The National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA had updated that both sides of the aisle say the environmental permitting process for new projects takes too long and requires too many bureaucratic measures that need to follow.
This move would also help speed up the building of energy projects in the US and during Sunday media briefing a White House official said that the debt ceiling modification will be a great support in building more quickly and responsibly to have more solar, build more wind, EV chargers, transmission, and the other infrastructure we need to guarantee a clean energy economy in the country.
This move is a rare bipartisan issue on the Hill. Kevin McCarthy House Speaker said on Sunday that he described permitting as “a frustration with people all across this country on both sides of the aisle. He also said that this project doesn’t matter if you want to build a road, you want to construct a renewable energy project, it all gets stopped and studied for a long years.
The debt ceiling legislation leaves numerous reforms most notably building main electricity transmission lines on the table. Particularly the Democrats have pushed actions to boost power transmission, which would make it easier for solar and wind projects across the country to link to the grid.
One provision that was cut into the House bill would require all US grids to be able to transfer at least 30 percent of their electricity order to other grids. Instead, the bill instructs the issue to be studied for two years.
The Dept Ceiling Bill Includes Limiting The Environmental Actions
The Debt Ceiling Bill includes modifying the environmental permitting process to two years, along with requiring projects to name a single lead agency that would create one master environmental review document. It also orders a study of US grid capacity to define what upgrades are needed to strengthen reliability.
While some climate activists and progressives have hailed the measures as a good start, many are also concerned about the reforms weakening environmental protections. Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, called the NEPA reforms a “major blow” to the environment and vulnerable communities.
Rep. Melanie Stansbury, who is also a member of the Natural Resources Committe, stated that it would be possible to vote in favor of legislation that proposed to eliminate one of the most fundamental environmental laws in the country.