Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican leaders are calling on the Biden Administration to stop throwing up regulatory roadblocks that will kill critical infrastructure projects. The regulatory actions come as the President and his Congressional allies continue to blame the private sector for the ongoing supply chain crisis, and while Americans face increased prices across the economy due to rampant inflation. These actions from the Administration are just the most recent examples of bad policies that will make problems worse, not better, for consumers and businesses with the holiday season upon us.
Committee Republican leaders, including the Committee’s Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), wrote letters to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), as well as to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), regarding new regulatory actions being proposed.
Graves said, “Although the Administration is handing out an unprecedented amount of money for infrastructure, eliminating good regulatory reforms and adding new barriers to builders, job creators, and local communities will make it much harder to build needed infrastructure, move goods and people more efficiently, and emerge from this ongoing supply chain crisis. Actions like these will result in pushing more paper and increased compliance costs rather than putting shovels in the ground.”
Graves (R-MO) and the Committee’s subcommittee ranking members sent a letter to CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory in response to the Administration’s proposal to roll back recently implemented updates to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Members wrote, “NEPA-related delays in infrastructure projects can lead to a tremendous loss of investment and extinguish the labor force when jobs are put on hold or never materialize. Such significant and persistent problems represented a big reason why national labor and commerce groups strongly supported updating and modernizing NEPA last year…. Accordingly, we strongly urge CEQ to abandon efforts to change the existing NEPA rule through this harmful, unreasonable, and misguided proposed rule.”
Click here to read the full letter to CEQ from Reps. Sam Graves, Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Garret Graves (R-LA), and David Rouzer (R-NC).
Ranking Members Sam Graves and David Rouzer sent a separate letter to the heads of the EPA and the Corps following reports that the Corps has quietly stopped issuing important Clean Water Act permits after a District Court suspended use of the EPA’s Navigable Water Protection Rule issued under the last administration, effectively placing a moratorium on any pending or new permits under review.
“This incredibly long suspension of the program would delay infrastructure project development in this country for years, as project proponents rely on certainty in these permitting programs to plan and invest in critical infrastructure…,” said Graves and Rouzer in their letter. “We urge EPA and the Corps to provide a remedy to this unacceptable regulatory gridlock and immediately implement all Section 404 permitting programs to ensure we can continue to advance infrastructure projects across the nation.”