U.S. Chamber Applauds Introduction of RAPID Act

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 8:00pm

Legislation Would Reduce Red Tape Standing in the Way of Job Creation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded today’s introduction of the “Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID)” Act, which would provide a streamlined process for developers to obtain environmental permits and approvals for their projects in a timely and efficient manner. The RAPID Act was introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), along with original cosponsors Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN).

“Republicans, Democrats and the business community all agree that we should remove the red tape that slows down too many construction projects,” said William L. Kovacs, Senior Vice President for Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs.  “The ‘RAPID Act’ is precisely the type of commonsense action needed to speed up the permitting process, boost the economy and create jobs.”

Last year, the Chamber launched the Project No Project initiative to highlight the broad range of energy projects across the country that are being significantly delayed or stopped due in large part to a broken permitting process. Project No Project discovered 351 stalled new energy projects stalled by red tape that, if regulatory impediments were removed, could generate a $1.1 trillion short-term boost to the economy and create 1.9 million jobs annually during construction, plus $145 billion in economic benefits and 791,000 jobs during operations once the projects are built. The Chamber’s initiative showed that an overly bureaucratic, calcified permitting process, when mixed with “Not In My Back Yard” activism, has blocked projects of all shapes and sizes through tactics such as organizing local opposition, changing zoning laws, opposing permits, filing lawsuits, and using other long delay mechanisms, effectively bleeding projects dry of their financing.

Speeding up the permitting process has been a long-term priority for the Chamber, and is a key part of its 2012 American Jobs and Growth Agenda.

“The Chamber will continue to advocate for legislation that supports job creation and economic development by removing the many barriers that stand in the way of sound projects being approved,” said Kovacs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.