It's dynamism vs. stasis.
With one of the lowest economic-growth rates in the country, and much of its wealth tied to an indisposed coal industry, West Virginia is an unlikely champion of dynamism. And yet, with senators Shelley Moore Capito (R.) and Joe Manchin (D.) each proposing an energy-permitting-reform plan in September, the state has become just that.
Capito’s Simplify Timelines and Assure Regulatory Transparency (START) Act, introduced on September 12, would codify regulatory simplifications promulgated by the previous administration pertaining to the National Environmental Policy Act and to the Navigable Waters Protection Rule under the Clean Water Act; codify shortened permitting-review schedules and limitations on the length of environmental documents; and grant states significant exclusive rights to take decisions on energy projects of all kinds within their borders. It has drawn support from 46 other (Republican) senators, and it represents principles of reform that could undo years of energy and infrastructure stasis.
Jordan McGillis is a Paulson Policy Analyst at the Manhattan Institute.
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