For Immediate Release: May 25, 2023
Contact: Matt Spence 202-728-6014
IBEW Statement of Support for the Biden Administration’s Priorities for Building America’s Energy Infrastructure Faster, Safer and Cleaner
Today, IBEW International President Kenneth W. Cooper issued the following statement:
“The IBEW supports common-sense, bipartisan permitting reform in line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities for building America’s energy infrastructure.
“Reforming the federal permitting process, particularly accelerating the construction of electric transmission lines, is critical to meeting the nation’s infrastructure and energy goals.
“Permitting reform in the United States is overdue, with interminable holdups in the state, local and federal bureaucracy costing billions in lost opportunities and potential IBEW jobs. As announced in the Biden administration’s plan, the IBEW supports the new interagency Memorandum of Understanding to use existing authority under the Federal Power Act that allows the Department of Energy to accelerate the permitting of transmission capacity, which will create good union jobs for thousands of IBEW members.
“It is also critical for all forms of power generation and other critical infrastructure projects envisioned in the administration’s landmark laws like the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Lawand the CHIPS and Science Act that Congress act and pass bipartisan energy permitting reform. The successful implementation of these signature laws will depend on the expeditious construction of long-distance transmission lines connecting power generation to population centers.
“IBEW members have spent over a decade waiting for the final approval of worthy and necessary transmission projects like Grain Belt Express and the TransWest Express Transmission Project, which was approved last month after 18 years. These and countless other stymied projects represent the additional capacity the electrical grid desperately needs. Lack of action on transmission projects fuels growing concerns about grid resiliency and stability.
“We stand behind the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities for building America’s energy infrastructure and look forward to working with the administration, Congress and regulators to foster greater cooperation to meet the demand of America’s future.”
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.