April 13, 2015

Texas is a leader when it comes to building a strong economy and creating jobs for its residents. Unfortunately, when it comes to the environmental permitting process, Texas is behind the curve compared to its Gulf Coast state competitors.

The process in Texas is so long, convoluted and redundant that other states are now pointing to it as reason why companies should ignore the Lone Star State and locate elsewhere.

Permitting processes that take six months in other states are taking years in Texas. We simply must make changes to ensure we have an efficient, fair and competitive process that attracts economic investment in Texas, not deters it. HB 1247, by Representative Wayne Smith, would do just that – injecting a healthy dose of common-sense into the environmental permitting process, while also continuing to protect the environment. Most importantly, this bill would allow potential new businesses to have some peace of mind and predictability in forecasting the length of permitting when they’re looking to start new projects in Texas.

Texans are rightfully proud that we are an economic success story and that businesses want to locate here. It’s time to reform the cumbersome environmental permitting process to ensure we remain an economic development destination.

Joseph O. Slovacek

Slovacek is a partner at the Houston firm HooverSlovacek.

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