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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 348 - Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2015

September 16, 2015


(House Rules)

(Rep. Marino, R-PA, and 21 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 348, which would undercut responsible decision-making and public involvement in the Federal environmental review and permitting processes. As the Administration said when virtually identical legislation was considered previously, H.R. 348 would increase litigation, regulatory delays, and potentially force agencies to approve a project if the review and analysis cannot be completed before the proposed arbitrary deadlines. This legislation would complicate the regulatory process and create two sets of standards for Federal agencies to follow to review projects - one for "construction projects" and one for all other Federal actions, such as rulemakings or management plans.

This Administration is committed to modernizing the Federal permitting and review process for major infrastructure projects to provide certainty for project applicants, reducing the aggregate time it takes to conduct reviews and make permitting decisions, and producing measurably better environmental and community outcomes. However, the Administration strongly rejects the legislation's premise that public input and responsible agency decision-making under current law hinders job creation. The Administration believes that H.R. 348, if enacted, would lead to more confusion and delay, limit public participation in the permitting process, and ultimately hamper economic growth.

The Administration supports efforts to improve the efficiency of the environmental review processes without diminishing requirements for rigorous analyses, agency consultation, and public participation. Since 2011, the Administration has prioritized improving the environmental review process and continues to make advancements in this space that will improve interagency coordination and synchronization of reviews to increase decision-making speed; improve project siting and application quality; expand innovative mitigation approaches; and drive accountability and transparency through the expanded use of an online permitting dashboard. For example, under Executive Order 13604, the interagency infrastructure permitting steering committee established the permitting dashboard, which makes project schedules transparent to the public and is designed to improve the timeliness and environmental outcomes of the permitting process. In the coming months, additional projects requiring complex permitting actions will be posted to the dashboard in an effort to improve project delivery.

If the President were presented with H.R. 348, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 348 - Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2015 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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