WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, along with Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), today led a group of their colleagues in releasing the Promoting Efficient and Engaged Reviews (PEER) Act. The bill would make thoughtful, commonsense reforms to our nation’s environmental review and permitting processes that advance clean energy deployment, support community engagement, and protect our environment.
“After enacting historic infrastructure and clean energy investments last Congress, we need efficient permitting processes that allow our nation to meet our climate goals with the urgency that science demands,” said Chairman Carper. “The PEER Act would help accelerate clean energy projects and create good-paying jobs across our country while ensuring that communities have a say in infrastructure projects. Importantly, our bill would improve the permitting process without undermining our nation’s bedrock environmental protections. I’m proud to release this discussion draft with my colleagues, and I look forward to continuing the important work ahead so that we can pass bipartisan permitting reform legislation.”
“In order to build the clean energy future that we want, we’re going to have to make our permitting processes work faster for clean energy generation and transmission. Our bill will help us move quickly and safely to build the clean energy projects we need to save the planet,” said Senator Schatz.
Original sponsors of the PEER Act include Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).
“We need commonsense permitting reform to safely and quickly build out the clean energy infrastructure of the future,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This plan, which includes my SITE Act to thoughtfully speed the build-out of interstate transmission lines, is an important proposal to have in the mix as we seek bipartisan compromise. I thank Chairman Carper for his leadership on this important issue.”
“Last Congress, we passed the most consequential infrastructure and climate action bills in our history, the next step is streamlining the permitting processes for clean energy generation and transmission projects to achieve the full potential of these laws,” said Senator Smith. “Effective permitting reforms like those proposed in the PEER Act will maximize our ability to bring Americans good-paying jobs and lower energy costs while reducing carbon emissions. I look forward to receiving feedback on this discussion draft and continuing conversations with constituents, colleagues and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive and effective permitting reform solution.”
“It would be a huge missed opportunity to let the transit and clean energy projects in the IRA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law get bogged down in our outdated and unwieldy permitting processes. If it takes a decade to get a permit to build offshore wind, expand passenger rail service, or upgrade our electric grid, we won’t ever accomplish our climate goals. This is a smart and necessary fix that balances the value of local voices and environmental protection with the need to move quickly on important projects,” said Senator Murphy.
“It is imperative to build on the progress we have made in the last few years in advancing clean energy technology and ensure we meet the challenge of the climate crisis,” said Senator Padilla. “That’s why legislation like this is critical to making commonsense reforms to our permitting processes, protecting community engagement, and expanding tribal outreach so that we can accelerate our transition to clean energy while creating quality, good-paying jobs.”
The full text of the bill is available here.
A section by section is available here.
A fact sheet is available here.