Barrasso, Capito, Unveil Comprehensive Permitting and Environmental Review Reform Legislation

May 4, 2023

Both bills from top ENR and EPW Committee Republicans would streamline process for infrastructure, transportation, and energy projects, lower prices for consumers, and make it easier to build in America.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee and Shelley Moore Capito, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, introduced two pieces of legislation to substantively reform the nation’s broken permitting and environmental review processes, which are currently delaying key energy, infrastructure, and transportation projects across America.

Ranking Member Barrasso’s bill, the Spur Permitting of Underdeveloped Resources (SPUR) Act, covers key reforms in ENR’s jurisdiction, including provisions to increase domestic energy and mineral development, ensure federal lands remain open to productive uses, and streamline permitting of energy infrastructure.

Ranking Member Capito’s bill, the Revitalizing the Economy by Simplifying Timelines and Assuring Regulatory Transparency (RESTART) Act, covers key reforms in EPW’s jurisdiction, including provisions to streamline the agency review process with enforceable timelines, implement time limits to prevent endless legal challenges, and modernize current laws while maintaining environmental protections.

“American energy can no longer be held hostage. That’s exactly what’s happening under the Biden administration. Environmental extremists are manipulating a broken permitting process. The bills Senator Capito and I are introducing will fix this problem,” ENR Ranking Member Barrasso said. “We need to lower prices for American families and unleash American energy. The way to do that is to impose strict deadlines and stop endless litigation. We must also block the administration from hijacking the permitting process to kill worthy projects. Our current system stifles development and undermines American energy security. Americans still know how to build things. Today’s broken process won’t allow it. That must change.”

“The current permitting and project review process slows the construction of roads and bridges, discourages domestic energy production, and minimizes investments made in our nation’s infrastructure, all of which has resulted in fewer jobs and higher prices for Americans,” EPW Ranking Member Capito said. “The two bills Senator Barrasso and I are introducing fix this broken system with substantive changes that cut red tape, modernize and streamline the permitting process, and prevent endless delays that have plagued job-creating projects across the country. As the Ranking Members of the EPW and ENR committees, we’re introducing both of these bills to underscore the need to approach permitting reform the right way, which is through the proper committees of jurisdiction here in Congress. I’m confident we can find bipartisan consensus and accomplish real permitting reform, which will create jobs, boost energy production, lower prices for consumers, and make it easier to build in America.”

Ranking Member Barrasso’s SPUR Act is cosponsored by Capito and every Republican member of the ENR Committee, including Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

For bill text of the SPUR Act, click here.

For a section by section of the SPUR Act, click here.

For a one pager on the SPUR Act, click here.

Ranking Member Capito’s RESTART Act is cosponsored by Barrasso and Republican members of the EPW Committee including Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Boozman (R-AR), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

For bill text of the RESTART Act, click here.

For a section by section of the RESTART Act, click here.

For a one pager on the RESTART Act, click here.