Preventing manufacturing project delays


By Sherrod Brown

U.S. Senate

The Intel plant in Licking County is going to create at least 7,000 construction jobs for union Building Trades workers over the next 10 years, and will help develop the semiconductor chip supply chain in Ohio and position our state to lead in this crucial industry.

We wrote the CHIPS Act to make sure this project happened, and to make our country and our state the leader in semiconductor production that we know Ohio can and should be.

America invented the semiconductor. Yet today, 90 percent of them are made overseas. That ends now.

The CHIPS Act is about putting in place a new pro-American, pro-union industrial policy, to ensure the technology of the future is made in America, in Ohio. Now we need to make sure that it actually works, and prevent delays in getting this facility built.

That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Building Chips in America Act – it would ensure federal environmental reviews are completed in a timely manner by streamlining approval for projects supported by the CHIPS Act.

We want authorities to do their due diligence and make sure projects comply with our environmental laws. But this review process can be redundant and cause long, unnecessary delays. For large, complex projects, federal environmental reviews can take several years.

Pausing the construction work at the Intel plant for several years while that happens is unacceptable. The project already has undergone state and local reviews, and it already has the necessary permits. Our bill would mean this project could move forward, without having to undergo redundant reviews at the federal level.

These semiconductor chips are one of the most important inputs in the modern manufacturing process. And one of the reasons we wrote the CHIPS Act in the first place was to prevent our manufacturers from facing more long delays waiting on imported chips. Ford and GM plants in Ohio were forced to implement short-term plant closures because of semiconductor chip shortages.

We can’t allow this bipartisan solution we passed get delayed too. Particularly not when we know our competitors don’t wait years for projects to get off the ground.

I’ll continue working with colleagues of both parties to get this passed, so we can prevent unnecessary delays to critical projects and keep Ohioans to working.

I want to see thousands of union workers in the trades on the job in Licking County. And I want to see a whole supply chain develop for this industry, all over the state.

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