A Progressive Vision for Permitting Reform

August 24, 2023

Policies and principles to empower an equitable and efficient green transition.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

Permitting for a Rapid and Just Renewable Energy Build-Out

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) unleashed unprecedented and much-needed green energy investments. Now the question remains: How can the US build out this new renewable energy infrastructure quickly enough to address the speed and severity of the climate crisis?

Some point to permitting reform—measures to speed up environmental review processes for energy projects—as the answer. However, many environmental justice advocates argue that the reviews mandated by key permitting laws are crucial, if imperfect, safeguards protecting communities.

In a new Roosevelt report in collaboration with the Climate and Community Project, authors Johanna Bozuwa and Dustin Mulvaney explore this debate, and explain how the goals of building renewables fast and protecting communities and the environment are aligned.

“[The] lack of consistency in what permitting refers to and why reform is needed has resulted in an unfocused conversation about ‘cutting red tape’ instead of one about how to ensure that public policy enables a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy development in a time frame and manner consistent with both the urgency of climate action and the need for robust public input,” they write.

Bozuwa and Mulvaney clarify which roadblocks to the transition come from permitting processes, identify larger hurdles beyond the scope of regulatory review, and outline their vision for a progressive approach to permitting reform.

Read more about policy interventions to improve coordination and planning, strengthen community engagement, and empower an efficient and just renewable energy build-out in A Progressive Take on Permitting Reform: Principles and Policies to Unleash a Faster, More Equitable Green Transition.


What the Industrial Policy Conversation Needs

“We’re at the very beginning of the biggest economic transition in at least a generation,” Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong writes in a new blog post. “It’s a brave new world, where we’re all learning how to build.”

“The enormity of the task ahead—driving reorganization of the global economy so that it prioritizes the health of the climate, workers, and communities over short-term profits—requires the willingness to listen to one another,” Wong explains. “[I]t’s important that we keep the debate open rather than narrow, with respect to both content and participants.”

Read on in “Three Reasons to Make the Industrial Policy Conversation Better.”


What We’re Talking About


What We’re Reading

The Fed Didn’t Need to Kill Jobs to Fight Inflation. Why the Models Were Wrong. [feat. Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal and Justin Bloesch] – MarketWatch

This Economy Is Breaking All the Rules—and ThrivingThe American Prospect

Where Student-Loan Forgiveness Now Stands for Millions of Borrowers One Year after Biden Announced His Broad Debt Relief PlanBusiness Insider

Critics of Biden’s Global Minimum Tax Deal Miss the Big PictureBloomberg Tax


Note: The Roosevelt Rundown will be on hiatus until September 8.