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Schumer: Permitting bill "virtually impossible"

May 13, 2024
Photo illustration of Chuck Schumer, the US Capitol building and Earth.

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said today that getting anything done on permitting this Congress will be "virtually impossible."

Why it matters: The outlook for a permitting bill has looked increasingly bleak since the beginning of this year.

  • But Schumer's comments to reporters today add new weight to FERC's landmark transmission planning rule and the Biden administration's attempts to speed permitting.

Driving the news: Schumer said he's supportive of Joe Manchin and John Barrasso's efforts to draft a permitting bill.

  • But, he said, "I've told Joe Manchin it's going to be virtually impossible to get something done."

Zoom in: The remark came in a press call Schumer arranged to celebrate the FERC transmission rule, approved in a 2-1 vote in the commission's meeting this morning.

  • The New York Democrat had been pressing FERC to finish up the rule, and he said he sees it as an "alternative" to congressional action.
  • "With the Republicans in the Senate being so strongly against transmission, and now with a House Republican majority, I think FERC was the necessary and really only way to go, until maybe things will change after the election."
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