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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor today about how our country can restore its energy dominance and lower the cost of living for American families.

Excerpts from Sen. Barrasso’s remarks:

“It is a joy and privilege to join my colleague from West Virginia, Senator Capito on the floor today to talk about legislation that we’ll be introducing tomorrow.

“It’s about permitting. I come to the floor to talk about ways to lower prices for American families and restore our country to energy dominance.

“Of course, the way to achieve this is by fixing our broken permitting process. There is a lot of work to be done, there is bipartisan support to do it.

“So she’ll be introducing along with me our legislation tomorrow, and this legislation is going to streamline a very complicated permitting process.

“It’s going to speed up American infrastructure, energy, as well as mining projects.

“Taken together, this legislation will address fatal flaws in today’s federal permitting process.

“The current system moves in very slow motion. Too often, as Senator Capito said, there’s no motion at all. Things are stopped in their tracks.

“Today’s process forces project developers to endure a maze of regulations, mountains of paperwork, expensive studies, and bureaucratic foot-dragging.

“It takes an average of four-and-a-half years now just to complete an Environmental Impact Statement for one single project.

“In some cases, it can take a decade or more to get final approval for a project. Even if a project makes it through, the regulatory roadblocks to get a permit, will inevitably will be challenged in court.

“Project opponents are skilled at exploiting our broken permitting process to stop all progress. Litigation can drag on for years and cost millions and millions of dollars.

“In my home State of Wyoming, activists are suing to cancel hundreds of federal oil and gas permits. These permits were issued after years of environmental reviews.

“They’re frivolous the lawsuits, but they’re happening all across the country. The longer it takes to get a permit, the more a project costs.

“The more it costs, the more a likely developer will either pull the plug, or give up before even starting. The result is that energy prices go up. People feel the pain.

“That’s because investments aren’t made, jobs don’t materialize, and projects of national importance

“Don’t get built. I’m talking about projects like oil and gas wells, pipelines, transmission lines, wind and solar farms, power plants, roads, tunnels, bridges, and mines.

“To see what I mean, take a look at this chart from The Economist, they call it ‘Cancel Culture.’

“It shows that for the past several years, more miles of interstate gas pipelines have been cancelled than have been built. Let me repeat that, this shows [over] the past several years more miles of interstate gas pipelines have been cancelled than have been built.

“We used to be able to build things in this country. Not anymore. It’s not that we don’t know how. It’s that we’re not being allowed it shouldn’t take longer to permit a project than to actually build it. In too many instances, it does.

“The American people inevitably lose when that happens. The permitting process must change so we can lower costs for families and unleash American energy.

“We can’t keep today’s broken process and expect to stay ahead of rivals like China.

“Taken together, the legislation that Senator Capito and I are introducing is going to streamline the permitting process while preserving environmental standards.

“This will put America back in the lead. Project developers need to expect a system that is predictable, and delivers a timely answer.

“Our legislation will do that by sticking to four basic principles. First, real reform must benefit the entire country, not a narrow range of special interests.

“Our bills are technology and fuel neutral. By that we mean we don’t put a thumb on the scale for politically-favored technologies.

“This is going to help expedite projects from both conventional and alternative energy sources. We need all the energy here in America. Second, our legislation includes enforceable timelines with specific time limits on environmental reviews.

“Third, we place time limits on legal challenges to prevent endless litigation, intended solely to kill new energy projects.

“Finally, our legislation prevents the executive branch from hijacking the process to meet its own policy preferences.

“The energy bill that I’m going to introduce focuses on streamlining improvements to produce more American energy and more American mineral resources.

“It’s going to lower costs for families, it’s going to enhance America’s energy security. It’s going to reduce reliance on China, Russia, and other adversaries for energy as well as key minerals.

“A key aspect of my energy bill is to resume federal onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales.

“The Biden Administration has tried from day one to block access to federal lands and waters—regardless of the law.

“We cannot allow any administration to deny, defy, and disregard the law.

“My bill also will speed up the production of critical minerals used in renewable and battery technologies.

“Our country is blessed with large mineral deposits. Some in your home State. My home state in Wyoming, in particular.

“We have large reserves of coal, uranium, rare earths, and other minerals.

“Yet it often takes over ten years in the United States to get a mining permit.
Our competitors in China move much faster, as do our northern neighbors in Canada

“Unlocking domestic mining means we will no longer have to rely on China and Russia for critical minerals. Finally, my bill will ensure the affordability and reliability of our electric grid.

“We will have American energy that is affordable, that is reliable, and that is available. The House recently passed the ‘Lower Energy Costs Act.’ The Senate now has an opportunity to pass our own legislation.

“We can pass bipartisan legislation that unleashes American energy, boosts our international competitiveness, creates jobs, and lowers prices.

“This starts with today, fixing today’s broken permitting process. Democrats said last year that this reform is necessary. Senator Capito and I are bringing solutions to the table.

“If Democrats are serious about fixing the broken process, meaningful reform is possible.”