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WTAS: BUILDER Act


WASHINGTON, D.C.,
September 22, 2020

Today, Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) and Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) introduced the “Building U.S. Infrastructure through Limited Delays & Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act. Below is what they are saying:

“We support NEPA and the proposed legislation’s over-riding goal for better environmental decisions in a cost and time-efficient manner. In our view, the bill will advance the goals of the statute as well as reduce paperwork, delays, and promote better environmental policy decision-making.” -Paul Schlegel, Vice President of Public Affairs, American Farm Bureau Federation

“Recent reforms to NEPA will unlock shovel-ready jobs while maintaining the robust environmental protections Americans depend on, and these reforms should be broadly supported. Codifying the careful NEPA modernization will bring a higher level of certainty to critical infrastructure projects, including the planned offshore wind farms up and down the Atlantic Coast. NOIA stands with Congressman Graves in ensuring that endless bureaucratic red tape and lawsuits do not return to lock away the shovel-ready jobs Americans need.” -Erik Milito, President, National Ocean Industries Association

“ABC applauds congressional leaders for introducing this legislation, which will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary delays that cause budget overruns in construction. Construction businesses recovering from the ongoing health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 will surely benefit from these modifications, which will help reduce costs and speed up project approvals so that hardworking U.S. workers can get back on the job quickly and safely. The coordinated, predictable and transparent process to streamline permitting will also enable the industry to plan and execute even the most complex projects while safeguarding our communities, maintaining a healthy environment and being good stewards of public funds.” -Kristen Swearingen, Vice President of Legislative &Political Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors

“Congressional Committee leaders’ newly-introduced legislation will provide needed enhancements to the National Environmental Policy Act. This legislation complements the administration’s recent efforts to streamline the environmental review process while continuing to adhere to the same rigorous environmental standards.  The Associated General Contractors of America is eager to work with members of Congress to further improve the permitting process for infrastructure projects that require federal environmental review prior to construction.  This new bill codifies many of the positive changes to the National Environmental Policy Act that our association has advocated.  These changes would streamline the analyses and processes that have led to litigation and project delays over the years, build accountability and transparency into the review process, and reduce redundancy and duplication of existing work product.  Importantly, infrastructure projects will still undergo an environmental review with public input and all substantive environmental rules will still apply.” Stephen Sandherr, Chief Executive Officer of the General Contractors of America

“We believe this bill will help modernize the federal environmental review process, which will improve the public process for Western water resource development and management. We thank Congressmen Bishop and Graves for their leadership on this matter, which is particularly important to the family farmers and ranchers of our membership.” -Dan Keppen, Executive Director, Family Farm Alliance

“Highway congestion costs the trucking industry $75 billion a year and wastes seven billion gallons of fuel, resulting in 67 million metric tons of excess carbon dioxide emissions. The reforms envisioned by the BUILDER Act will give state and local transportation agencies the tools they need to make the improvements necessary to prevent these job-killing losses and to move us toward environmental sustainability.” -Erik J. Prince, VP of Legislative Affairs, American Trucking Associations

“NSSGA applauds Rep. Garrett Graves (LA) for introducing the Building U.S. Infrastructure through Limited Delays & Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act which will bring key reforms and clarity to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process– while still maintaining strong environmental protections. The BUILDER Act is critical for our economic recovery as it enhances recent Administration action to remove pointless red tape. It will allow taxpayer dollars to be used to develop much needed infrastructure that sustains high-paying jobs, improves our communities and advances environmental stewardship.” -Michele Stanley, VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

“TFI believes in the original Congressional intent of NEPA, which was to help public officials make decision that are based on the understanding of environmental consequences and to take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment. The BUILDER Act will ensure that federal regulations continue to protect the environment without causing unnecessary negative impacts to the business community and allowing what our members to do what they do best: feed the world.” -Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, The Fertilizer Institute

“As stewards of the environment with significant infrastructure and public safety responsibilities, counties support efforts to streamline the NEPA permitting process. Unnecessarily onerous, inefficient regulations often hinder our ability to meet residents’ needs and strengthen communities. We support the BUILDER Act, which will help to cut red tape, support our infrastructure and economic priorities, and preserve common-sense environmental safeguards. We applaud Representative Graves for sponsoring this legislation and call on Congress to pass it swiftly.” -Matthew Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties

“As Congress considers ways to support the nation’s economic recovery, it’s important to recognize that an efficient permitting system is essential to all U.S. infrastructure development and creating good-paying jobs in communities across the country. Codifying the recent NEPA reforms will provide more certainty to jumpstart not only the modern pipeline infrastructure we need to deliver cleaner fuels, but highways, bridges and wind and solar projects. This is a commonsense and necessary step toward modernizing American infrastructure while advancing environmental progress.” -Frank Macchiarola, Senior VP of Policy, Economics, and Regulatory Affairs, American Petroleum Institute

“CEA applauds Congressman Graves for continuing to push for policies and regulatory improvements that will directly benefit the lives of families and small businesses across our country. CEA strongly supports the BUILDER Act and looks forward to working with Congressional leaders to get this important piece of legislation signed into law.” -Michael Zehr, Consumer Energy Alliance

“The vagueness of NEPA has led to regulatory growth over the last 50 years that has slowly choked our ability to build in this country.  The White House NEPA reforms were an important step, but ultimately action from Congress like this legislation is necessary to establish boundaries for NEPA that balance environmental protection with necessary infrastructure and development.”  -Tom Pyle, President American Energy Alliance.

“CRES is proud to support Representatives Garret Graves in introducing much-needed legislation to reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). For far too long, red tape has hamstrung our nation’s ability to rebuild crumbling infrastructure, prevented communities from taking advantage of technological revolutions, and delayed our transition to a more robust and sustainable energy future. Rep. Graves’ BUILDER Act will codify into legislation common sense reforms that the Trump Administration recently introduced to modernize NEPA, ensuring that clean energy infrastructure projects won’t be delayed into obscurity by bureaucratic roadblocks. CRES commends Rep. Graves for championing the BUILDER Act and thanks Leaders Kevin McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise, Conference Chair Liz Cheney and the bill’s other 15 cosponsors for their support. CRES will remain a stalwart proponent of NEPA reforms.” -Heather Reams, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

“ARA strongly support this effort to help codify the Administration’s NEPA final rule.  NEPA reform is necessary to help speed up the approval process for much-needed infrastructure projects for the benefit the rural communities in which ag retailers and their customers live and work.  Reforms to the NEPA rule does not compromise environmental reviews or public input, in fact these revisions to modernize the process will enhance the public’s involvement through better coordination of hearings and more concise, accessible documents for review.” -Richard Gupton, Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Counsel, Agriculture Retailers Association

“To ensure our nation has the quality infrastructure that can meet tomorrow’s demands of moving people, clean energy, and information, we need an efficient and transparent permitting process.  That is why the provisions in the BUILDER Act are so important.  To modernize our nation’s infrastructure, we must utilize limited investment in a more efficient way.  As America’s economy continues to recover from—and is reshaped by— the pandemic, delivering 21st century infrastructure can play a critical role.  A predictable permitting process will help communities by attracting investment that will create jobs in the near term, but will also accelerate environmental benefits such as the deployment of clean energy infrastructure to address climate change and environmentally sustainable transportation to rebuild our aging highways, bridges and airports.” -Ed Mortimer, Vice President of Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“The National Environmental Policy Modernization Act refocuses NEPA on its original intent, to promote our nation’s most vital infrastructure projects while ensuring our shared goal of proper environmental stewardship. Creating a business and policy environment supportive of ongoing investments in our nation’s infrastructure will help strengthen our economy and create thousands of jobs during a time when this is more needed than ever. We fully support this new legislation that will reinforce a more efficient NEPA review process and create greater predictability around permitting of key U.S. infrastructure projects.” -Cory Toth, Director of Government Relations, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

“All we have ever asked for is transparency, clarity, and certainty as we look to build out this important energy source and develop America’s biggest emerging market. We applaud Congressman Graves for putting forth this important piece of legislation and look forward to working with him and his team.” -Chris Quinn, Executive Director, American Offshore Wind Coalition

“FFRC applauds the introduction of this important bill. The Forest Service does more NEPA than any other Federal agency, usually while trying to manage a very small percentage of the 193-million-acre National Forest System. In some regions, nearly all meaningful land management projects face litigation, usually alleging inadequate NEPA analysis. This bill, like the important regulation it is based on, would help clarify the NEPA burden for the Forest Service, thus eliminating duplicative analysis and speeding badly needed land management projects. As we’ve seen with the recent wildfires, time is of the essence when it comes to reducing the amount of fuel piled up on our forests. This will help address this critical problem.” -Bill Imbergamo, Federal Forest Resource Council

“For far too long, NEPA has been a tool used not for mitigating actual environmental impacts, but for stopping projects that create jobs and economic benefit for Americans. To function properly as a society, we must get a handle on NEPA to reach a reasonable balance between building infrastructure and protecting the environment. We appreciate Congressman Graves’ bill that sensibly tackles some of the most effective ways to ensure NEPA achieves its original intent of enabling decision makers to make environmentally protective decisions while disarming the use of NEPA as a weapon to simply say ‘no’ to roads, bridges, pipelines, water projects and other infrastructure. In particular, scoping NEPA to actual environmental impacts and not far-flung concerns of dubious connection to a project is key to ensuring NEPA can be completed in a reasonable timeframe. Also limiting obstructionist groups’ ability to come in at the eleventh hour and tie up projects indefinitely in court after failing to participate constructively in the process is something that Western Energy Alliance fully supports.” -Kathleen Sgamma, President, Western Energy Alliance 

Additional groups supporting H.R. 8333: 

American Chemistry Council

American Exploration and Mining Association

American Exploration and Production Council

American Public Gas Association

Association of Oil Pipe Lines

GPA Midstream Association

Interstate Natural Gas Association of America

National Mining Association

U.S. Oil and Gas Association

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