Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the states of Oregon and Washington have signed a declaration creating the Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure (PNRI) team. The PNRI team will work to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects in those states when both state and federal agencies have review responsibility. The PNRI team intends to focus on renewable energy generation, electricity transmission, broadband internet, pipelines, ports and waterways. The PNRI team builds on a similar program created by Interior and the state of California.
In Oregon, efforts are already underway to spur infrastructure development, many of which are outlined in Gov. John Kitzhaber’s recently-released 10 year energy plan. Governor Kitzhaber also recently issued an Executive Order requiring state agencies to look at the full life-cycle costs of infrastructure and state capital facilities investments, including climate risk. The team also has the full support of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who sees an opportunity to accelerate energy development and economic growth in his state.