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Hickenlooper Calls for Permitting Reform, Training Workers to Unleash Clean Energy Potential in Senate Hearing

May 12, 2023

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper spoke in a Senate Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing about the urgent need for permitting reform to speed up the construction of clean energy projects, create good-paying jobs, and stay competitive on the world stage.

The hearing, focused on permitting proposals from across the federal government, sought to continue discussions toward bipartisan compromise on a way forward to comprehensive permitting reform.

Inquiring about the slow construction of the TransWest Express Transmission Project, a 732-mile transmission line through the West that will cross through northwestern Colorado, Hickenlooper noted, “It took 18 years and finally it looks like we’re going to get it done…As someone who has an infant at home, that child’s going to be in college by the time someone could do a similar process to permit a single transmission line.”

Last month, Hickenlooper helped introduce the Streamlining Interstate Transmission of Electricity (SITE) Act, a bill that would remove one of the largest barriers to building new, large-scale electric transmission lines.

In closing, Hickenlooper, who serves as Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee’s Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, asked about workforce pipelines needed to build the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law- and Inflation Reduction Act-created programs that will need a skilled workforce to construct. 

“Whether we’re talking about transmission lines, or natural gas pipelines, or talking about opening mines, the workforce challenges are apparent…I would love to be able to talk about where are these kids going to come from, how to we get to them soon enough and allow them the opportunity to see which trade, which profession, which career they would be happiest in, and then make sure they get the training in real time…In the next few years that’s going to be one of the single most fundamental challenges and obstacles in front of us in terms of achieving what each of you have been talking about.” 

For a full video of Senator Hickenlooper’s hearing remarks, click HERE.


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