Now is the time to double down on permitting reform

Business Roundtable
3 min readSep 6, 2023

To modernize the federal permitting process and facilitate more efficient, effective and timely environmental reviews, policymakers came together to enact meaningful, bipartisan reforms as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The commonsense reforms include designating a lead federal agency and requiring agencies to work together on a single environmental impact statement or assessment, establishing time and page limits on environmental reviews and documents and accelerating the process by allowing project sponsors to assist federal agencies in the environmental reviews. Business Roundtable welcomed these significant achievements, and we encourage Congress and the Administration to turn to additional reforms that will increase predictability and speed up project delivery as the United States works to meet growing energy demands and the needs of the clean energy transition.

Yet expanding a competitive and resilient U.S. energy system will require policymakers to address additional challenges: critical minerals supply chain vulnerabilities, transmission constraints and litigation abuses and challenges. Removing these barriers will assist in achieving the full potential of recent legislation and its impact on energy security, reliability, affordability and emissions reductions.

The ability to permit and build more energy infrastructure faster is fundamental to increasing U.S. energy security, exporting lower carbon energy to our friends and allies and establishing the United States as a leader in the global clean energy transition. Business Roundtable recently released its recommendations for additional federal permitting reforms and encourages policymakers to support the development of conventional and renewable energy projects on federal lands and waters and accelerate the permitting and construction of the pipelines needed to transport natural gas, hydrogen and sequestered carbon. Enactment of these reforms will not only bolster domestic energy production but strengthen our national security and provide our allies around the world a safe, reliable energy trading partner.

To support the clean energy transition and improve grid reliability, policymakers should also enact reforms to modernize and expand the grid. We encourage members of Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state governments, and other stakeholders to work together to address barriers to transmission development related to siting, permitting, planning and cost allocation. Potential actionable items for policymakers include supporting FERC and transmission operator efforts to better manage regional and interregional transmission planning. These improvements are essential to speeding approval of renewable energy projects while ensuring reliability as we continue transitioning to a cleaner energy future.

America’s status as an energy exporter and clean energy powerhouse is also dependent on our ability to innovate and continue advancing technologies such as electric vehicles, batteries and clean energy generation. Unfortunately, the United States is largely dependent on imports, in many cases predominantly from a single source, for the finite supply of critical minerals and raw materials needed for these technologies. According to an analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey, in 2022 China was the leading import source for 26 of the more than 50 mineral commodities for which the United States was more than 50 percent reliant on imports. The permitting reforms the Business Roundtable supports would make it easier to source critical materials here in the U.S. in an environmentally sound way while reducing our reliance on and vulnerability to global supply chain disruptions. The Administration should also pursue a proactive trade agenda to help globally diversify our sourcing of these materials.

We find ourselves at a unique moment where what is good for the economy and the environment are aligned. The most significant action Congress can take to capitalize on this moment and increase the production and export of American energy while also reducing U.S. and global greenhouse gas emissions is to further modernize the permitting process. Business Roundtable supports ongoing efforts in both the House and Senate on additional permitting reforms and we stand ready to work with policymakers to make it easier to build American infrastructure and grow America’s clean energy capacity.

Learn more about Business Roundtable’s permitting recommendations HERE.



Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.