Moving business and economic development efforts forward across the state in a timely, efficient manner is important. In order to accomplish that we need a little assistance from our federal lawmakers in Washington.

Given her leadership role in Congress and long history of doing what is right for Maine residents and businesses, Sen. Susan Collins has been helping push for broad, bipartisan reform of our nation’s incredibly inefficient federal permitting process. The much-needed reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act that Congress passed earlier this year are surely welcome, but there are still many parts of the federal permitting process that require serious streamlining and simplification.

The current permitting process slows down critical energy, business and economic development efforts that could otherwise help create much-needed jobs and spur growth in Maine communities. The delays that developers encounter throughout the entire process only serve to drive up costs, increase risks for investors, and reduce financial viability.

Passing common sense permitting reform that helps cut through the government red tape would not only help move much-needed projects forward more quickly and efficiently, but it would also help ensure taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and not wasted on navigating an overly bureaucratic, broken system.

The sooner Congress passes true permitting reform, the better for Maine’s economic and business development efforts.

Rebekah Lynch, Lewiston

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