Regulatory Reform in the Proposed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: Please Help Locate Text

Apparently there is something in the proposed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 about permitting (including NEPA) reforms for energy siting that would no doubt affect Federal lands.

Let me make it clear, I will not vote to support policies that make the United States more dependent on foreign energy and supply chains or risk moving the country closer to the unstable and vulnerable European model of energy we are witnessing today. Most importantly, I am heartened by the bipartisan recognition that for America to achieve our energy and climate goals, it is critical we reform the broken permitting process. President Biden, Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi have committed to advancing a suite of commonsense permitting reforms this fall that will ensure all energy infrastructure, from transmission to pipelines and export facilities, can be efficiently and responsibly built to deliver energy safely around the country and to our allies.

It also apparently has some provisions about fossil and renewable energy on federal land, the Atlantic says “it forbids the government from selling leases to install solar or wind on federal land or seafloors when it has not also recently opened territory to oil and gas developers.”

I saw someone on Twitter say..

We need an 8 year, highly litigious process to ascertain the environment impacts of speeding up the permitting process.

Which cracked me up a bit until I remembered I had actually spent time on a NEPA process for an NFMA rule…

Here’s a link to the text if someone wants to look for provisions of interest to us and post them. It would be greatly appreciated.

5 thoughts on “Regulatory Reform in the Proposed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: Please Help Locate Text”

  1. The extortion language that allows right-of-ways for solar and wind development only if hydrocarbon leasing continues is in Section 50265, p. 645. It seems like one outcome would be to prioritize solar and wind development on private lands – not necessarily a bad thing.

    Section 23001 (p. 546) provides funding for national forest restoration and fuels reduction, and includes:
    “(3) $100,000,000 to provide for more efficient and more effective environmental reviews by the Chief of the Forest Service in satisfying the obligations of the Chief of the Forest Service under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 through 4370m–12);”

    That appears to be the only reference to NEPA, and it does not reference energy siting, but any effort to change the NEPA process could affect that. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is something specific in mind for this open-ended funding, but it doesn’t look like it was energy.

    Interior and DOE and FERC get funding for “efficient environmental reviews” (pp. 648-649), and there is other funding related to improving permitting processes for NOAA and EPA (not specifically NEPA), but I don’t see anything real earthshaking here.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jon. One person’s “extortion” is another person’s “negotiated outcome”. 🙂 That 546 clause comes from Build Back Better and still seems kind of silly for $100 Mill.. it’s one of those things that sounds plausible but the amount of money makes you wonder what the heck they want the FS to do with it. 100 Mill here, 100 Mill there…

      Reply
      • The Washington Post had this explanation of Manchin’s comments about permitting:
        “Manchin also said in a statement that Biden, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had “committed to advancing” a permitting reform bill that would make it easier for developers to override environmental objections when building pipelines, natural gas export facilities and other energy infrastructure. This falls outside the rules of the Senate procedure the party is using to pass the economic package, meaning Democratic leadership will have to try to secure GOP support for the permitting changes.”
        (That last sentence doesn’t make sense to me – I think they’ll have a hard time getting D support.)

        Reply
        • Thanks, Jon, I also found this puzzling from Center for Western Priorities yesterday..seems like permitting reform is a “side deal”.

          Finally, Manchin’s support for the bill could also falter if anything happens to derail a “side deal” on permitting reform. The deal would apparently speed permitting for infrastructure on federal lands, including renewable and fossil fuel projects as well as transmission lines. While no details of that plan have been released, Manchin’s vote on the climate bill is contingent on Congress passing it. So far, Democrats seem to be willing to pass some kind of reform to secure Manchin’s vote on climate, but members like Rep. RaĂşl Grijalva, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, say they want details on the permitting bill before they commit to supporting it.

          Reply
      • $50 Mill for the “protection of old-growth forests on National Forest System land and to complete an inventory of old-growth forests and mature forests within the National Forest System.”

        Reply

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