Lawmakers introduce forest, energy permitting bills

By Marc Heller, Manuel Quiñones | 06/20/2024 06:29 AM EDT

Members of the House and Senate also unveiled resolutions against an administration National Environmental Policy Act rule.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) released legislation Tuesday to address permitting for forest management projects. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Lawmakers from both parties are continuing to introduce bills on energy and natural resources permitting as markers for a potential future deal.

Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Tuesday to ease environmental reviews for forest projects that reduce wildfire threats and help thin vegetation near electric power lines.

Their “Fix Our Forests Act” would create “firesheds,” or areas designated by land management agencies as most in danger of wildfire.


The designations would pinpoint areas for expedited thinning, prescribed fire and other measures. Projects wouldn’t be subject to National Environmental Policy Act reviews.