Permitting reform continues to move forward this Congress. On March 9, the House Natural Resources Committee approved a Republican-led permitting reform and energy bill.
The Transparency, Accountability, Permitting and Production of American Resources Act (TAPP) (H.R. 1335) cleared the committee along party lines.
The bill would undermine the core principles of the National Environmental Protection Act and would eliminate vital protections for historic and cultural resources if the proposed changes were enacted.
For example, many oil and gas drilling projects would be completely exempted from compliance with NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act, and other provisions would accelerate timetables for federal review and overwhelm an already underfunded and understaffed workforce.
On March 14, the TAPP Act was included in a larger House Republican energy package, the Lower Energy Costs Act (H.R. 1), along with other bills advanced by the Energy and Commerce and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.
Final deliberations and House floor consideration are expected this week. While the package is expected to pass the House, it is unlikely to move forward in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Despite opposition to this particular legislative package, there remains bipartisan interest in the Senate to tackle permitting reform during this Congress and bicameral talks continue.
The National Trust led a coalition letter with other national preservation partners opposing H.R. 1 and will continue to advocate for the laws and processes that are necessary to safeguard our nation’s historic and cultural resources.