President Trump Just Signed Two Executive Orders To Speed Up Energy Infrastructure Projects

In a big win for U.S. manufacturing workers, President Trump signed two long-anticipated executive orders in Houston on Wednesday intended to cut red tape and speed up the permitting process for energy infrastructure projects. 

The first order takes aim at oft-overlooked laws and regulations that have plagued the permitting process for energy infrastructure projects. Chief among them are Clean Water Act water quality determinations known as “401 certifications” which have become political flash points for states and opposition groups in recent years. The order will also update regulations for the export of liquified natural gas (LNG), which have not been updated to keep pace with modern, state-of-the-art LNG export facilities. 

“Section 401 has been abused by states and project opponents, turning it into a tool of obstruction,” Ross Eisenberg, NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources, said. “This Executive Order will clarify the responsibilities of federal and state governments in administering Section 401 so that the statute is applied in a fair, uniform fashion.

The second order would clarify permitting for cross-border energy infrastructure and is intended to prevent future projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline from getting caught up in years of litigation, reviews, and delays. 

Together, these two executive orders will promote badly-needed development of infrastructure to meet U.S. energy demand, create and support jobs for U.S. manufacturing workers, and provide reliable and affordable energy to U.S. consumers.

“The NAM has consistently called for measures to accelerate the permitting process for new energy infrastructure for several years, and has actively called on the Trump Administration to improve the way federal and state agencies authorize these projects,” Eisenberg said. “Manufacturers need predictable permitting laws that tell us the rules of the road and how we can meet them.”

Modernizing and investing in America’s infrastructure is a top priority for manufacturers in the United States, who rely on critical infrastructure projects to connect with employees, work with suppliers, transport goods to market and increase productivity. When infrastructure fails to meet those needs, it negatively impacts growth.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) continues to rally support for broad-based, jobs-creating investment in expansion and modernization, including advocating increased public and private infrastructure funding, developing an interstate system focused on moving goods to market, investing in ports and inland waterways, supporting efforts to reduce traffic congestion and modernizing drinking water and wastewater systems as well as modernizing information and telecommunications infrastructure. Learn more about the NAM’s plan at NAM.org/BuildingToWin.

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