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ABC: Lower Energy Costs and Commonsense Permitting Reform Are Wins for the Construction Industry and Americans

WASHINGTON, March 30—Associated Builders and Contractors today released the following statement applauding the bipartisan U.S. House of Representative passage of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.

“ABC thanks lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who acted today to lower energy costs and cut red tape for American families, small businesses and the contracting community,” said Kristen Swearingen, ABC vice president of legislative & political affairs. “The construction industry is facing significant economic challenges, with many businesses having trouble finding affordable and available building materials, due in part to persistently elevated costs. ABC analysis finds that overall construction input prices are nearly 40% higher than in February 2020, with energy commodities leading all categories: crude petroleum (+63.5%), natural gas (+68.9%) and unprocessed energy materials (+76.3%).

“In addition to lowering energy costs, H.R. 1 contains several commonsense permitting reforms, including the ABC-supported BUILDER Act, which will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary delays that cause construction budget overruns,” said Swearingen. “In order to deliver work safely, ethically and economically, ABC contractor members count on a coordinated, predictable and transparent permitting process; H.R. 1 enables the industry to plan and execute key projects nationwide while safeguarding our communities, maintaining a healthy environment and stewarding public funds properly.”

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