Clean Energy Permitting Reform

Just like you need a building permit to expand your home, big energy projects must get written approval from local, state, and/or federal authorities to start construction. Permitting is important, but it adds hefty time and expense to projects of all kinds. Permitting reform is critical if we’re going to make the clean energy transition happen fast enough to meet our climate targets.

There are three key parts to successful energy permitting reform

 Siting/building clean energy projects

Right now, it takes an average of 4.5 years for federal agencies just to complete environmental impact statements for major energy projects. These are important assessments, but we need them to move faster and speed up the pace with which we build new clean energy projects.

Transmitting that clean energy across the country

In the past decade, the U.S. has expanded our electricity transmission infrastructure at a pace of just 1% per year. We’ve got to speed up the pace with which we build and connect new transmission lines. Ultimately, we need to triple our current capacity to transmit clean electricity by 2050.

 Involving local communities

Better permitting allows local communities to give their input on energy projects early in the process and choose good projects over bad ones. Good projects should be approved faster, harmful projects should be rejected faster, and all new projects should safeguard the lives and health of people living nearby.

Our chapter advocates for clean energy permitting reform by:

  • Contacting members of Congress to help them understand the importance of this issue and ask them to support legislation
  • Talking to state legislators and asking them to implement legislation that meets criteria above
  • Speaking at public hearings involving renewable energy siting decisions