Bipartisan Coverage Middle
Thanks a lot, Sasha—and an enormous because of Bipartisan Coverage Middle for internet hosting us. For greater than 15 years, this group has proven America that politics doesn’t must be damaged—that we can confront challenges on a bipartisan foundation.
When President Biden entered workplace over two years in the past, our nation confronted a number of challenges directly.
A well being disaster within the type of a once-in-a-century pandemic…an economic system in disaster, with tens of millions out of labor and small companies shuttered…a local weather in disaster, with escalating hurricanes and wildfires devastating American communities.
All that, on high of a long time of underinvestment in our infrastructure and industrial base…and a long time of insurance policies that tried—unsuccessfully—to develop the economic system from the highest down.
President Biden stated: sufficient. It’s time to construct the economic system from the underside up and the center out via a contemporary American industrial technique…one which invests in America’s staff and positions them to guide the long run…onshores important provide chains to cut back our reliance on China…and one which places underserved communities on the entrance of the road for brand new alternatives.
That fashionable industrial technique is now coming to life because of the President’s Investing in America agenda…and on the coronary heart of it’s clear vitality.
Clear vitality creates good-paying jobs and fuels financial progress…expands our manufacturing base…bolsters our vitality safety by bringing provide chains house…and confronts the local weather disaster by reducing dangerous air pollution.
And due to all three payments working collectively—the Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation, CHIPS, and the IRA—we’ve despatched a strong sign to the personal sector. They’ve already responded with over $220 billion in new clear vitality bulletins since President Biden took workplace.
In consequence, we anticipate clear vitality deployment over the following 4 years to be 25% greater than it might have been with out the IRA.
We’re happy with what our administration has completed thus far to alter our trajectory on clear vitality and local weather. However now, we have to up the tempo and end the job by reducing the remaining hurdles to realize 100% clear energy by 2035.
The Allowing Problem
One large hurdle—and an enormous alternative—is allowing. Proper now, the allowing course of for clear vitality infrastructure, together with transmission, is suffering from delays and bottlenecks.
These delays are pervasive at each stage of presidency—federal, state, and native. We received so good at stopping tasks that we forgot find out how to construct issues in America.
It’s been this manner for a very long time. Final fall, I got here again to the White Home. And in my first week on the job, in my first assembly with the Secretary of Vitality, I discovered that allows for a transmission line I assumed had been resolved within the Obama administration nonetheless hadn’t been authorized.
That’s unacceptable. And on condition that we’ve to extend electrical transmission 60% over the following seven years—which suggests constructing transmission traces at twice our present tempo—we’ve to repair this drawback now.
Most Individuals agree—81% of voters help the event of latest transmission traces, and a majority say that allowing reform ought to prioritize clear vitality tasks over fossil fuels.
Biden Allowing Actions
That’s why President Biden has elevated this subject to the very best ranges of presidency for the primary time by forming an Investing in America Cupboard that meets frequently on allowing and different precedence points for infrastructure implementation.
It’s why the Inflation Discount Act, invests $1 billion in key federal allowing companies to extend employees capability, incorporate new expertise, enhance coordination, and web site and allow large clear vitality tasks.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation invests billions in transmission deployment.
Our Council on Environmental High quality has clarified and restored fundamental safeguards for environmental evaluations. And we’re getting these evaluations carried out quicker than the earlier Administration ever did. We’ll quickly be proposing extra reforms to make the environmental evaluate course of extra environment friendly and efficient.
We’ve additionally launched up to date steering on find out how to account for greenhouse gasoline emissions and local weather—so fewer tasks get snarled in litigation and they also’re permitted proper and constructed proper the primary time.
Simply yesterday, DOE kicked off the method of designating Nationwide Curiosity Electrical Transmission Corridors by releasing a Discover of Intent. This course of unlocks DOE and FERC instruments to speed up the deployment of high-capacity transmission so we will present clear, reasonably priced, dependable electrical energy to extra Individuals.
And at present, I’m excited to announce that seven companies, the Federal Allowing Enchancment Steering Council and the White Home have signed a brand new Memorandum of Understanding to place electrical transmission allowing on a quick observe—permitting DOE to train its full authority beneath Part 216(h) of the Federal Energy Act to shepherd tasks ahead.
We’ve seen some latest wins—like the ultimate approval of the TransWest transmission line that may ship Wyoming wind vitality to California.
Priorities for Congress
And this administration is doing all we will with the instruments we’ve—however frankly, we may use extra instruments to go even additional and quicker.
And we want Congress to provide us these new instruments.
The President has been clear over the previous six months that we imagine allowing reform ought to move on a bipartisan foundation—and that we imagine allowing must be optimized for constructing out a clear vitality economic system.
President Biden is grateful for Senator Manchin’s management and dedication to this subject specifically. The President supported Senator Manchin’s allowing laws in December, and he continues to help the identical invoice the Senator re-introduced final week.
Congress ought to deal with that invoice—and significantly the deadlines it imposes for environmental evaluations—to begin critical bipartisan negotiations within the Senate to eradicate roadblocks to scrub vitality tasks and bolster our vitality safety. The President doesn’t love every part within the invoice, however we help it. That’s what compromise means, and it’ll take compromise by everyone to get this carried out.
The Biden-Harris administration has labored arduous to raised perceive these roadblocks, and now we’re asking Congress to construct on Senator Manchin’s laws with extra reforms.
That’s why at present, the White Home is releasing a listing of 11 priorities that Congress ought to embrace in allowing laws. You’ll be able to learn all eleven in a truth sheet that’s now reside on the White Home web site, however I’ll share some highlights.
We’ve received to get extra clear vitality capability linked to the grid by dashing up interconnection. Laws must expedite the connection of era or storage that impacts multiple transmission system—and it wants to permit clear vitality undertaking builders to pay the price of interconnection upfront.
Then, we’ve received to get that clear vitality the place it’s wanted by accelerating the deployment of transmission and making allowing extra environment friendly and predictable for interstate transmission tasks. A key a part of that is permitting tasks to allocate undertaking prices to clients that profit from the brand new transmission.
Congress ought to give FERC clear authority to subject permits for interstate transmission traces…and to incorporate carbon dioxide and hydrogen infrastructure in designated vitality corridors.
And we have to be sure that throughout excessive climate occasions, regional grids can borrow vitality from different energy methods to assist maintain the lights and warmth on for American households. To try this, Congress ought to direct FERC to set a minimal stage of switch functionality between regional grids—and may require the consideration of a number of advantages, together with financial, operational, and environmental, when making transmission choices.
Congress ought to reduce duplicative and burdensome evaluations. Usually, environmental evaluations and allowing processes should be carried out sequentially, which might trigger pointless delay. Congress ought to tackle areas of overlap, together with by permitting transmission tasks to depend on evaluation included in corridor-wide programmatic environmental evaluations.
Federal companies want to interact native communities early and infrequently—an important ingredient to extend public buy-in for clear vitality tasks and construct within the areas that take advantage of sense and keep away from prolonged litigation delays.
That help means putting in Chief Neighborhood Engagement Officers at every allowing company…establishing new funds that companies can use to supply grants to native governments and teams…and permitting companies to switch funds to tribal nations to extend their allowing capability.
We have to modernize our information assortment and allowing expertise, from mapping instruments to an automatic allowing utility system. This may assist ease the burden for undertaking builders and enhance transparency so the general public can observe our progress.
We’d like particular 2030 and 2035 targets for renewable vitality deployment on public lands. And Congress wants to assist web site clear vitality tasks on brownfields by defending builders from legal responsibility so long as they tackle contamination onsite.
On the same notice, Congress ought to clarify that companies have authority to require undertaking builders to mitigate environmental impacts, and people efforts fulfill environmental evaluate necessities.
We’ve received to repair the price and delays which might be bogging down the licensing course of for hydropower tasks. Hydro provides 37 % of zero-carbon energy in the USA—and greater than thirty % of all of the nonfederal hydropower licenses in the USA are set to run out by 2030. It’s time to reform the method so we will maintain this important vitality supply on-line.
And it’s gone time to replace our historic mining legal guidelines, which have been written in 1872. The Administration will make extra particular suggestions on this quickly—however suffice it to say that although the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant are nonetheless on really helpful studying lists, mining laws he signed greater than 150 years in the past is somewhat old-fashioned.
Rebuke of McCarthy’s Agenda
This administration is critical about constructing a safe vitality future that strengthens America’s economic system. If Congress is able to do the identical…
They’ll move bipartisan allowing reform that features the White Home’s priorities.
And so they’ll assist us implement and develop on President Biden’s Investing in America agenda as a substitute of attempting to undo a few of its most impactful provisions.
By way of their Default on America Act, Home Republicans have voted to repeal the Inflation Discount Act’s clear vitality tax credit. If they’ve their manner, they’ll ship tens of 1000’s of latest manufacturing jobs abroad, many from their very own districts.
They’ll enhance vitality prices and enhance taxes on hard-working households who have been anticipating to get a credit score or a rebate for putting in a warmth pump or rooftop photo voltaic.
And by repealing the Overseas Entities of Concern necessities for the IRA’s clear automobile tax credit score, they’ll be sure that the EVs of the long run are powered by Chinese language batteries and demanding minerals, as a substitute of being made right here in America.
Merely put, the Home Republican plan could be catastrophic for our economic system, our vitality safety, and our nationwide safety. They’re proposing to hazard the well being of Individuals and undo our clear vitality progress as a ransom for not triggering a catastrophic default.
Proper now, we’re within the midst of a local weather disaster—one which calls for that we construct, construct, construct clear vitality. We are able to do it in a manner that protects ecosystems and communities… creates good-paying jobs…makes our nation extra aggressive…and saves our planet.
Right here’s the underside line: If we will’t construct some new issues in a couple of backyards, the local weather disaster will destroy everybody’s backyards—together with the livelihoods, communities, wildlife, and biodiversity all of us wish to shield.
I won’t be in style amongst my buddies within the environmental motion for saying that—however it’s the fact.
“The final tactic utilized by the opponents of tasks—delay it till it goes away—is in impact a type of local weather denial.” These aren’t my phrases—it’s what Invoice McKibben, one in every of our nation’s main environmentalists, wrote in Mom Jones final month.
He then stated, “Whenever you’re in an emergency, performing at the least offers you an opportunity—not performing ensures an end result, and never one.”
It’s time that we confront disaster with pragmatism. To go from stopping issues to constructing issues once more. And with pragmatic, bipartisan motion from Congress, we’ll construct a safe, resilient, reasonably priced, clear vitality future—collectively.
Thanks and I look ahead to the dialogue.