Ariz. Sen. Mark Kelly, colleagues introduce bipartisan legislation to spur domestic microchip manufacturing

In a concerted effort to revitalize microchip manufacturing on American soil, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., last week introduced the Building Chips in America Act. The proposed legislation aims to seize the opportunities created by the CHIPS and Science Act, attracting billions of dollars in domestic manufacturing investments and strengthening national security while upholding environmental safeguards.

In Arizona alone, a $26 billion semiconductor plant from TSMC is set to open in 2024, creating more than 4,000 new jobs. 

One of the key provisions of the proposed bill is the streamlining of approval processes for ongoing and potentially delayed microchip projects, facilitated by empowering the Department of Commerce with additional review tools.

Sen. Kelly, a pivotal negotiator of the CHIPS and Science Act, emphasizes that the legislation will support Arizona’s microchip manufacturing industry by enabling critical projects to move forward without compromising environmental standards. 

“Our CHIPS Law is bringing billions of dollars in investment to Arizona’s microchip manufacturing industry—creating thousands of good-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a four-year degree,” Kelly said. “The Building Chips in America Act will ensure these critical projects can continue construction on time while protecting our clean air and water.”

Co-sponsor Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., echoes support for the manufacturing incentives provided by the CHIPS and Science Act, highlighting their potential to increase chip production in the United States. 

He notes, however, that “as implementation proceeds, unnecessary regulatory burdens are threatening to slow down these critical investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and pause construction that has already begun. The Building Chips in America Act will cut red tape and solidify our nation’s ability to successfully onshore chip production as quickly as possible.” 

Under the Building Chips in America Act, projects that have already begun construction or obtained necessary state and federal permits will not be subject to any National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review. The Department of Commerce will oversee all NEPA reviews for future projects, allowing for quicker approval times and more resources. 

The proposed legislation has broad support from industry stakeholders like the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The group strongly advocated for the passage of the CHIPS Act last year and applauds this legislation’s efforts to streamline economic development projects and expedite federal review processes for advanced semiconductor facilities.

“This bipartisan bill is an encouraging proposal to help the CHIPS Act fulfill its potential to create thousands of new jobs in a critical economic sector,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Vice President of Government Affairs Courtney Coolidge said. “Arizona wins big under Sen. Kelly’s bill. We look forward to working with him to help it become law.”

Tommy Logan

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