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April 20, 2023

Energy Secretary Supports King Streamlined Permitting Agenda for Achieving Clean Energy Future

King says permitting reform “isn’t a matter of undercutting environmental protections, it’s a matter of facilitating environmental protections”

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Angus King today laid out his goals for achieving a clean energy future. In a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, King questioned Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on her support for permitting reform measures and alternative energy technologies.

King began by emphasizing the need for permitting reform, and asking the Secretary if she agrees reforms are a priority.

“If we're going to achieve a green energy future, we have to do permitting reform. Do you agree?” King asked.

After Secretary Granholm agreed with Senator King “100%,” Senator King then discussed the need for alternative technologies and storage options to achieve the desired clean energy future.

Senator King said, “Bill McKibben, one of the leading environmentalists, one of the most thoughtful people in the country on these issues, just released an amazing article called “Yes in Our Backyards,” where he basically says we've got to stop saying “no.” And that means transmission. It means lithium mines. You can't love EVs and hate lithium. Or we got to find alternative technologies. But I hope you agree that this is something that has to…  in order to implement the Inflation Reduction Act, we've got to have permitting reform. We can't wait ten years to permit a pump storage facility, for example.”

“Absolutely. It's ridiculous that we just announced the final permit on the TransWest transmission line after, what, 17 years? It's unacceptable. So, I hope you all come together,” Granholm replied.

Senator King replied, “Well, we are working out I'm working with the Chairman and others on just that. And it isn't a matter of undercutting environmental protections, it's a matter of facilitating environmental protection. That's the point that has to get through to people. Now, having said that, you mentioned reconductoring. I think we also there are technologies that we can get a lot more out of the grid without doing entirely new transmission corridors and the like. Would you agree with that?

“Yes, I would,” Granholm said.

King said further, “And I hope the department will encourage and support those. It's called ‘grid enhancing technologies.’ It seems to me that's an important role that the department can play.”

“It is. And you've given us resources through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to do that. But further incentives would be welcomed” Granholm concluded.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator King has advocated for climate solutions that support Maine communities and has been one of the Senate’s most vocal advocates for improving energy technologies and development as a way to unlock America’s clean energy future. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Senator King is also among the Senate’s loudest voices advocating for conserving public lands and encouraging outdoor recreation. Senator King helped lead the passage the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) into law; the legislation includes the Restore Our Parks Act – a bill led by Senator King – and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. Over the course of his time in the Blaine House, Governor King was responsible for conserving more land across Maine than all Governors before him combined.



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