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Billy Taylor: Reforming permitting process vital for clean energy, growth

Expanding clean energy to help reduce energy costs while protecting our natural
resources is a win-win for the Alabama business community as well as residents. That’s
why we need thoughtful, market-based solutions to address our environmental and
energy challenges.

Alabama’s congressional delegation — including Sen. Katie Britt — should continue to champion smart conservative policies in Washington that help us achieve these goals back home.

Senator Britt should help support an all-of-the-above approach to energy that focuses
on improving and upgrading our energy infrastructure while responsibly developing all
the energy resources the United States has to offer. Importantly, that must also include
reforming the federal permitting process required in order to move new energy and
infrastructure projects forward in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, the permitting and government review process for energy infrastructure
projects has become overly burdensome and abysmally slow, often taking years (sometimes more than a decade) to complete. All that does is delay construction of
critical energy projects that could help us make better use of our clean energy resources
while creating jobs and spurring economic growth in Alabama communities.

In today’s business environment, it only makes sense to embrace a process that makes it
easier to review, permit, and build clean energy projects — instead of making it more
difficult by forcing projects to go through a convoluted and often duplicative permitting
process. This is especially true for businesses like Hometown Lenders that work in the
mortgage industry, which is facing serious challenges.

Senator Britt and the rest of Alabama’s elected officials in Congress should work to
support and pass legislation that speeds up and streamlines government review of
energy infrastructure projects to remove regulatory barriers, bring critical clean energy
and infrastructure projects to life sooner, and allow American businesses to thrive.

Billy Taylor is the founder and CEO of Hometown Lenders.

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