With Republicans gaining control of the US House of Representatives, Bracewell Policy Resolution Group Senior Principal Frank Maisano spoke to Law360 about the potential of a bipartisan breakthrough on legislation to speed up permitting for energy infrastructure.
“Permitting reform isn’t something you would do off the cuff — it’s going to have to be significantly invested in on both sides,” Maisano said. “Where it ends up is a matter of how much people are committed to compromise and how serious they are about advancing these types of clean energy systems.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, floated a permitting bill that, among other things, would speed up the approval process for pipelines and electrical transmission. However, Manchin pulled the bill amid resistance from fellow Democrats.
Meanwhile, Manchin’s in-state colleague, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., proposed a bill that would go even further to accelerate the infrastructure permitting process, yet it had no chance of advancing in the current Congress. But now, Republicans have a chance to significantly weigh in on a permitting bill next year, though their House majority is razor-thin.