December 15, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – and an advocate for pragmatic, realistic, and rapid permitting reform to reach America’s clean energy goals – released the following statement after he supported permitting reform as an amendment to the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act:
“The world is literally in a race with climate change. We cannot afford to waste valuable time — time which we really don’t have — to implement viable, efficient solutions in our transition to renewable energy,” said Senator King. “For example, it takes fifteen years just to permit a mine producing the minerals needed for batteries of electric vehicles given all the red tape and bureaucracy – and that’s just one project of hundreds that are needed. By failing to pass commonsense permitting reform, the Senate has sent the country’s clean energy future back to the drawing board and potentially put us years behind where we should be. I have always advocated for strict environmental standards, but also for a timely and predicable environmental process – that is exactly what this bill was all about.
“I think that we’ve reached a point where most Americans realize that climate change is real. The fishermen, farmers, and loggers in Maine know the urgency of this threat, and it’s deeply disappointing that some of my Senate colleagues do not share this understanding,” continued Senator King. “This bill should not be controversial. It would have made simple changes that both sides of the aisle have long called for to expedite energy projects without diluting environmental standards in the slightest. Despite the frustrating partisan games today, I will keep working on a bipartisan basis with my colleagues to find a path forward so that we can make our clean energy future a reality.”
Senator King recently spoke from the Senate floor on the need for permitting reform, and the tradeoffs that will be required in the transition to renewable energy, which can be watched HERE.
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.