Letter to the Editor: Senator Collins should lead on bipartisan permitting reform

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Senator Susan Collins has a long history of working across the aisle to help pass legislation that benefits Maine residents, businesses, and communities. She proved as much when helping to negotiate, craft, and pass the bipartisan infrastructure law in late 2021. In order to make the most of the investments made possible through this law, it is critical that Senator Collins work her bipartisan magic to help advance commonsense federal permitting reform.

As crucial as the infrastructure investments the Senator helped secure are, their potential could be squandered without reform of our broken, overly bureaucratic permitting process. As a former member of the Maine Legislature, I have seen firsthand the lengthy and costly delays that can happen when developers and investors try to move a given energy or infrastructure project forward. These delays not only slow or prevent the construction of new infrastructure, they also increase costs and decrease financial viability, which scares off private investors and could doom a project’s future.

The recent debt ceiling agreement passed by Congress includes some reforms to the federal permitting and review processes meant to help move critical energy projects forward in a more timely manner. However, there is still too much government bureaucracy holding back critical infrastructure and energy initiatives that could help create jobs and strengthen local economies throughout our state.

As someone who has long supported permitting reform, Senator Collins should continue to reach across the aisle and work with her colleagues in the Senate to pass more comprehensive reform of our convoluted, inefficient federal permitting process. Fortunately, the Senator knows what it takes to get the job done.

Hon. Owen Casas
Camden, Maine


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