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Columbia Energy Exchange

U.S. Permitting Reform: Striking the Right Balance


Christy Goldfuss

Chief Policy Impact Officer for the Natural Resources Defense Council

To meet net zero 2050 goals, the U.S. needs to quadruple wind and solar capacity, double the size of the grid, and increase the electric vehicle fleet 100-fold.

Under the existing permitting process, growth at this pace and scale is nearly impossible. It takes years to secure permits for new plants, transmission lines, and mines. That’s why accelerating the regulatory permitting process is critical.

But doing so may weaken 50 years worth of protections for communities, land, and wildlife in the United States.

What are the implications of the recent proposals for permitting reform? How should clean energy advocates navigate these tradeoffs? And how can policymakers protect American communities and ecosystems as they rush to build out clean energy?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Christy Goldfuss about the recent permitting reform proposals and the balance between expanding clean energy and protecting communities and ecosystems.

Christy is the chief policy impact officer for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) a U.S.-based environmental advocacy nonprofit. Prior to joining NRDC, she was the senior vice president for energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress. Christy also served in multiple senior positions during the Obama Administration, first as the deputy director of the National Parks Service, and then as the managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

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