Easier Said Than Done: Permitting Proves to Be a Delicate Balancing Act for Energy Projects

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When it comes to proposals to build large-scale energy projects, whether it’s a new transmission line, a mining complex or an interstate oil or gas pipeline, the permitting process can be a delicate balancing act. Nearly everyone understands that appropriate social and environmental safeguards are essential. At the same time, the permitting process shouldn’t be so cumbersome that it takes a decade or more to build that transmission line, complete that mine, or get a pipeline into operation.

There’s a general understanding that the permitting process needs to be improved — but it’s a whole lot easier said than done.

In this report, we examine the major themes around permitting reform and examine the factors that could help — or hinder — further efforts.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Extended debate over Mountain Valley Pipeline shows that permitting issues are well known but with no easy fixes.
  • Long-range transmission projects can often face significant delays but are seen as critical in plans to advance clean energy.
  • Large-scale wind and solar projects must increasingly deal with permitting challenges at state, local levels.
  • Increased production of metals, critical minerals essential to the energy transition may be reliant on process improvements.
  • The Fiscal Responsibility Act includes several popular permitting reforms, but also shows how much more needs to be done.

Easier Said Than Done” is included in RBN Energy’s 2023 Drill Down report series, a suite of reports covering many of the key issues expected to impact the markets for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Drill Down reports are part of RBN Backstage Pass™ premium resources that also include Blog Archive Access, Spotcheck Indicators, Market Fundamentals Webcasts, Get-Togethers and more. By subscribing to RBN’s Backstage Pass™ Premium Services, you plug into our network and get direct access to our premium resources.

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