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ABC is troubled by the energy and environmental policy actions of the Obama administration, which have been moving forward without congressional approval via regulation and other administrative methods. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pursued costly and burdensome regulations without regard for the negative implications they would have on American businesses and their employees. Some of these regulations increase energy and material prices for the construction industry-not to mention the cost of living for employees-and impede economic recovery and job creation.

In addition, the call for a comprehensive energy policy has grown steadily stronger as fuel prices rise. ABC agrees that alternative/renewable energy sources are vital to America’s future; however, ABC also believes the implementation of such sources will only succeed when coupled with measures designed to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy. These measures include increased domestic exploration and production of fossil fuels, as well as responsible deepwater drilling.

CEQ Releases Final Rule on National Environmental Policy Act

Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s rulemaking reverses the much-needed efforts of the previous administration to update and streamline the federal environmental review and permitting process. Modernizing this process would be a bipartisan win, as both sides of the aisle have long identified the need for faster, more efficient permitting. While Congress recently passed legislation providing an unprecedented investment in our nation’s infrastructure, including language specifically calling for streamlined environmental review, today’s rulemaking will delay the completion of these critical projects and increase costs for the construction industry and taxpayers without providing meaningful environmental benefits.

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ABC Urges EPA and Army Corps to Withdraw WOTUS Proposed Rule

On Feb. 7, ABC, as a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, filed comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” applicable to all Clean Water Act programs. The rule would repeal the Trump administration Navigable Waters Protection Rule and codify a definition that reflects the pre-2015 regulatory regime that the agencies are currently implementing. Raising numerous important concerns, the coalition urged the agencies to withdraw the proposed rule, reconsider the rule while addressing the coalition’s concerns and reengaging stakeholders, and repropose a rule that adheres to the CWA and relevant U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

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ABC to FHWA: Welcome All Qualified Firms and Workers to Build EV Charging Stations

On Jan. 28, ABC submitted comments to the Federal Highway Administration on behalf of member contractors who install and perform work related to electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative clean energy fuel stations. ABC said needlessly excluding all contractors and workers who do not participate in the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program and/or government-registered apprenticeship programs from building EV charging station and alternative fuel projects could be problematic.

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Biden Administration Releases Fall 2021 Regulatory Agenda

On Dec. 10, the Biden administration released its Fall 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2022. ABC has prepared a summary of the actions of interest to ABC members by agency. 

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Proposed NEPA Revisions Must Keep Clarity and Consistency From 2020 Rule, Says ABC

On Nov. 22, ABC filed comments with a coalition stakeholders to the Council on Environmental Quality in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking revising the implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act. ABC filed these comments in support of a streamlined approach to the permitting process under NEPA to reduce delays hindering critical projects, resulting in better infrastructure, a stronger economy and continued environmental stewardship.

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