Archived Content

Permitting Jobs and Business Investment

Streamlining the Federal Permitting Process

Executive Summary

Nearly three years after the end of one of the worst recessions in its history, the U.S. economy remains mired in a fragile, uneven and uncertain recovery. Against this backdrop of subpar economic growth and high unemployment, policymakers have an obligation to identify and address factors that continue to impair U.S. economic growth and job creation.

More recently, leaders in the business and policy communities have grown increasingly concerned about the adverse economic impacts associated with excessive regulation in general and a burdensome permitting process in particular. Simply put, the federal government’s permitting process is a system fraught with complexity, redundancy and uncertainty — resulting in a hostile business environment that discourages large-scale capital investments and impairs job creation. 

Accordingly, the CEOs of Business Roundtable believe that it is time to simplify, streamline and accelerate America’s permitting process with the goal of encouraging large-scale capital investments in the U.S. economy while maintaining the nation’s commitments to health, safety and soundness. With this goal in mind, this report identifies key challenges associated with the existing regulatory permitting system and sets forth a series of recommended reforms. By adopting meaningful reforms to the permitting process, policymakers have a unique and timely opportunity to unlock private-sector investment and the jobs associated with it — placing the economy back on a clear path toward recovery.