The federal appellate court hearing the appeal of EPA’s “Section 111(b)” regulations establishing a carbon capture and storage “new source performance standard” for new coal-fueled electric generating stations has today suspended the April 17, 2017 date for oral argument in the case.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said it was suspending

Flanked by two dozen coal miners, Vice President Mike Pence, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and joined by various coal state congressmen and industry executives, President Trump visited EPA headquarters yesterday to sign a long-anticipated Executive Order to end the previous administration’s so-called “war on coal.”

Continue Reading Trump Begins Rolling Back Regulatory Burdens on Fossil Fuel Energy Production

On Friday, February 24, 2017, President Trump signed another Executive Order (EO) aimed at identifying and eliminating federal regulations that burden businesses. Entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” the EO states that “[i]t is the policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.”
Continue Reading Trump Signs Another Executive Order Aimed at Deregulation

The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to be the new EPA Administrator on a vote of 52-46.  Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) crossed the aisle to vote in favor of his nomination and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) crossed the aisle to vote against the nomination.  The vote followed 30 hours of debate, including an all-nighter last night, as Democratic Party senators voiced their vociferous opposition to his appointment.

Continue Reading Scott Pruitt Confirmed as EPA Administrator

On February 2, 2017, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) issued Guidance in order to clarify last week’s Executive Order (EO) regarding the issuance of administrative rules. The EO requires agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for every one newly promulgated regulation. The EO also requires the total incremental costs of all new regulations finalized in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 to be offset by eliminating costs associated with repealed regulations.
Continue Reading OIRA Issues Guidance on “Two-for-One” Rule

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted this morning to recommend confirmation of Scott Pruitt to be EPA Administrator.  The vote had been scheduled to take place yesterday, but Committee Democrats boycotted the meeting, preventing a quorum for a vote.  The Democrats boycotted the meeting again today, but the Republicans then voted to suspend the Committee’s quorum rules requiring at least two members of the minority party present for a vote.  The suspension cleared the way for the Committee to approve Pruitt without any Democrats present.

Continue Reading Senate Committee Votes to Recommend Pruitt Confirmation

On January 31, President Trump announced his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.  Judge Gorsuch, 49, graduated from Harvard Law School and clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White and current Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Since 2006, Judge Gorsuch has served on  the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado.

Continue Reading President Trump Nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

President Trump continues to focus on streamlining government reviews for large scale infrastructure projects.  On January 24, he signed an Executive Order (EO) focused on expediting the permitting process for such projects.  In the EO, President Trump stated that “[t]oo often, infrastructure projects in the United States have been routinely and excessively delayed by agency processes and procedures.”

Continue Reading Trump Issues Executive Order Expediting Infrastructure Projects Approvals

During the campaign, President Trump promised to remove two regulations for every new one enacted. On Monday, January 30, 2017, he made good on that promise by signing an Executive Order (EO)  requiring agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for every one newly promulgated regulation. The EO also requires the total incremental costs of all new regulations finalized in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 to be offset by eliminating costs associated with repealed regulations.

Continue Reading Trump Signs Executive Order Limiting New Regulations

Recent statements from Myron Ebell, the leader of President Trump’s U.S. EPA transition team, continue the drumbeat from the new Administration on reducing environmental regulation.  Ebell recently stated that the administration’s goal will be to reduce EPA’s 15,000-person staff to about 5,000 employees.  These statements follow on statements from President Trump in mid-November in which he would like to see two old regulations eliminated for every new regulation enacted.  Additionally, there is rampant speculation that EPA programs focused on climate change and environmental justice will be eliminated, and that the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance will be significantly overhauled.

Continue Reading Regulations-Cutting Rhetoric Continues