Last week, United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) General President Mark McManus sent a letter to Senators urging them to support Sen. Manchin's permitting reform legislation, the Energy Independence and Security Act. The full text of the letter is below:
September 22, 2022
On behalf of the more than 359,000 hardworking men and women of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA), I write in strong support of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022. For our union members, unreasonable delays in permitting and an increase in unnecessary red tape lead to instability and job loss for them and their families. This necessary reform bill is needed right now as part of the Continuing Resolution to fulfill your promise to create the types of clean energy jobs that will power us into the next generation.
This Congress has passed historic legislation that makes generational investments in our nation’s infrastructure and charts a clear path forward to a clean energy future. With strong labor protections attached, these pieces of legislation will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for United Association members. However, we can’t get to work unless the permitting process proceeds in a reasonable and timely manner. Too often, the review processes mean federally funded projects never get off the ground. This reform legislation will modernize and streamline the permitting review process to ensure we still meet the stringent standards required on these jobs – just as our members always have and will continue to do – while reducing delays and jumpstarting construction. A more modern and efficient permitting process is good for the workers, for the builders, for our communities, and for the consumers.
To be very clear, the Energy Independence and Security Act does not mean blanket approvals for projects without rigorous review. On the contrary, this reform legislation will ensure projects that meet these necessary approvals and the highest standards are not hamstrung by further unnecessary red tape, cannot be derailed by frivolous litigation designed to weaponize the permitting process against itself, and can begin construction sooner. Projects that fail to meet the strict standards in place will still be denied permits. For our members who are poised to work on these jobs created by your historic investments in infrastructure, this more efficient and common-sense process means less time waiting in limbo – unemployment – and more time building back better.
I strongly urge you to support the Energy Independence and Security Act as part of the continuing resolution and to continue your support for the hardworking men and women who build this country and will lead the path forward to a clean energy economy.