TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes Amendment #72 to Division C of H.R. 7608, the consolidated appropriations legislation. The proposed amendment would block implementation of recently completed reforms to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. These important reforms would ensure a federal permitting process that is predictable and transparent, where “go” or “no go” decisions are made in a reasonable timeframe. A reformed NEPA will help get Americans back to work rebuilding critical infrastructure to move people, goods, energy, and information. The Chamber will consider including votes related to this amendment in our “How They Voted” congressional scorecard.
We strongly support a thorough environmental review process for projects under NEPA, but it should not take longer to get a decision on a permit than it does to construct a project. Unfortunately, that is often the case today.
Building the economy of the future means addressing the growing demand for critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways, airways, waterways, transit, housing, telecommunications, and energy projects of all types. A modernized NEPA process would improve our ability to meet that demand.
The NEPA updates are critically important to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a broad group of stakeholders including building trades unions and the agriculture, manufacturing, renewable and conventional energy, surface transportation, and broadband sectors.
We urge you to oppose amendment #72 and any FY 2021 appropriations language that would block these important NEPA updates.
Senior Vice President
Congressional and Public Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce