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House and Senate lawmakers have introduced a flurry of energy and environmental bills in recent days, including measures to tackle permitting, pipeline safety, rare earth elements, biofuel tax credits and energy efficiency grants.
S. 1050 from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) would amend the Clean Water Act to make it easier for states to take over permitting responsibilities for dredging and filling in streams and wetlands.
Only two states — Michigan and New Jersey — have assumed that permitting authority, with the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA reviewing permits for the other 48 states.
Another streamlining bill from Cornyn, S. 1051, would allow states that meet certain conditions to take on environmental review and consultation responsibilities for highway projects under the Endangered Species Act.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is co-sponsoring both measures, along with Alaska Republican Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) is also co-sponsoring S. 1050.