WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Once midterms wrap up, Democrats have a big task on their hands.
President Joe Biden is demanding lawmakers take action to speed up clean energy projects that promised to slash carbon emissions in half by 2030. But it’s likely an uphill battle as one major problem stands in the way.
“Right now, getting clean energy projects approved is too cumbersome and too time-consuming,” Biden said.
The president said Congress must speed up the federal permitting process to put new wind, solar and clean hydrogen projects on a fast track and meet the 2030 goal.
“We need to get this moving now quickly,” he said.
Biden is also urging Congress to speed up permits for oil drilling, something he said could lower turbulent gas prices. The president insists expanding oil drilling now will not undercut his long-term climate goals; however, last month, progressive Democrats like U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., rejected a similar two-prong approach.
“That’s not a way to do good policy,” he said. “Our job is to make sure that we’re leaving a better planet for future generations.”
Casten was one of the Democrats who rejected a plan offered by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. At the same time, the majority of Republicans argued Manchin’s reforms did not go far enough.
Katie Tubb with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said the road ahead will not be easy but reform is necessary.
“No matter what you’re motivated by, CO2 reductions, oil and gas, permitting reform is where the Venn diagram overlaps,” Tubb said.
After the midterm election, Tubb says she’s optimistic Democrats and Republicans will find a compromise.