Governors huddle to speed energy infrastructure construction
The National Governors Association (NGA) yesterday announced that it has formed a bipartisan working group in anticipation of funding for state energy and infrastructure projects from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Biden last November.
According to the announcement, the new Governors Energy and Infrastructure Working Group met last week in Washington, D.C., to share best practices and devise strategies for improving the infrastructure delivery process for a variety of projects, including energy-generation projects, pipelines, electric transmission lines, rail lines, levees, and roads.
The group’s focus, the NGA said, is on solutions to streamline the permitting process, address legal challenges, and tackle procurement issues to speed project delivery across four categories: 1) energy transmission (pipeline and electric transmission lines), 2) utility-scale energy generation (including nuclear, oil and gas, and renewables), 3) transportation, and 4) mining and materials.
Among the governors participating in the group are the following:
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, NGA vice chair and working group cochair
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, working group cochair
Maine Gov. Janet Mills
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte
From the cochairs: “Infrastructure investment and energy that is affordable and reliable are keys to unlocking opportunity in communities of all sizes,” Cox and Edwards said. “The $1 trillion infrastructure package presents a historic opportunity to advance America’s ability to compete in the global economy, but the United States is among the slowest nations in the developed world in approving and completing infrastructure projects. We can accelerate the timeline for infrastructure and energy-related projects around the country while still protecting the environment. Governors are working together across party lines and state lines on common-sense solutions to safely speed up the process to deliver energy and infrastructure benefits nationwide.”
In case you missed it: And speaking of governors, in his state of the state address early last week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee sounded like he’s trying to top Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin as a nuclear enthusiast. (Youngkin wants to build the nation’s first nuclear energy hub in his state.)
“If we really want to contribute to the future of America’s environment, we must contribute to the advancement of clean energy,” Lee declared. “As Washington debates an agenda that overregulates and pushes the burden on everyday people, Tennessee is looking for real solutions through innovation. We have a solution that is cheap, clean, and reliable. No other state in the country comes close to Tennessee’s legacy, resources, and potential to be a leader in nuclear energy. And there is no long-term national strategy that doesn’t include nuclear energy.
“That’s why, tonight, I’m proposing $50 million in a nuclear fast track fund to recruit companies to our state that will specifically establish a nuclear development and manufacturing ecosystem built for the future of Tennessee.
“We cannot pass up this opportunity. Tennessee can and should be the leader in nuclear energy for America.”