Our opinion: Making push for quicker permits

Gov. Josh Shapiro has taken preliminary efforts to speed up licenses and permits across the breadth of Pennsylvania’s state government.

That’s a good thing after reading a recent Centre Square report showing bureacratic intransigency is driving up the cost to deliver natural gas to customers throughout the state. During a recent House of Representatives Policy Committee meeting, experts said removing barriers to production — particularly when it comes to pipeline permitting — is holding back natural gas production. Getting more gas flowing to customers could provide some relief to this winter’s increased gas bills.

Shapiro signed an executive order last week to expedite licenses and permits of all sorts across state agencies, as The Center Square previously reported, but it’s too early to say whether permitting decisions will actually speed up. It’s a situation we hope the governor is watching.

As we have seen both nationally and with our neighbor to the north, pipelines have become a hot-button political issue. It makes little sense, however, for the state to shoot itself in the foot by holding up pipeline permits. The state has an abundant supply of natural gas and should take advantage of that supply to keep electric rates as low as possible for consumers.

Shapiro’s executive order is promising, but existing policies to make permitting easier already haven’t been followed. Shapiro would do well to make the Department of Environmental Protection move quickly on pipelines with quick approvals or denials so new plans to get natural gas from the ground to consumers can proceed quickly.

Time is money — your money.


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