Energy Hearings This Week

April 17 – House Committee on Energy and Commerce  Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: Oversight of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the FY2019 Budget
Witnesses:
The Honorable Neil Chatterjee: Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; The Honorable Richard Glick: Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; The Honorable Cheryl A. LaFleur: Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; The Honorable Kevin J. McIntyre: Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; The Honorable Robert F. Powelson: Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

April 18 – House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness Hearing: Fiscal Year 2019 Energy, Installations and Environment Budget Request
Witnesses:
The Honorable Lucian Niemeyer: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment, Department of Defense; Mr. Jordan Gillis: Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Department of the Army; The Honorable Phyllis L. Bayer: Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, Department of the Navy; The Honorable John W. Henderson: Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, Department of the Air Force

 April 19 – House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY 2019 – Member Day Hearing

 April 19 – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to Examine Rural Energy Challenges and Opportunities

 

Energy Related Hearings This Week

Senate Environment and Public Works  Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Hearing: “Cooperative Federalism Under the Clean Air Act: State Perspectives.”
Date: April 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am EDT

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY 2019 – Department of the Interior
Witnesses:  Olivia Barton Ferriter: Deputy Assistant Secretary, Budget, Finance, Performance and Acquisition, Department of the Interior; Denise Flanagan: Director, Office of Budget, Department of the Interior; The Honorable Ryan Zinke: Secretary, Department of the Interior
Date: April 11, 2018 @ 10:00 am EDT

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing: “Legislative Hearing on S. 2602, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act, or USE IT Act.”
Date: April 11, 2018 @ 10:15 am EDT

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Witness: Rear Admiral Lower Half Tim Gallaudet, PH.D. (Ret.):
Date: April 11, 2018 @ 10:30 am EDT

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: Update on the Restoration of Puerto Rico’s Electric Infrastructure (Rescheduled)
Witnesses: Mr. Charles R. Alexander: Director, Contingency Operations and Homeland Security Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Mr. Jeffrey Byard: Associate Administrator, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency; Mr. Gene Shlatz: Director, Navigant Consulting; Mr. Carols D. Torres: Power Restoration Coordinator, Edison Electric Institute; The Honorable Bruce J. Walker: Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Department of Energy
Date: April 11, 2018 @ 2:00 pm EDT

Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development: Hearing to Review the Dept. of Energy & NNSA Budget Requests for FY2019
Witnesses: The Honorable Rick Perry, Secretary U.S. Department of Energy; The Honorable Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration U.S. Department of Energy; The Honorable Paul M. Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science U.S. Department of Energy
Date: April 11, 2018 @ 2:30 pm EDT

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee Hearing:”Reviewing the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.”
Date: April 12, 2018 @ 10:00 am EDT

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: The Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Energy Budget
Witness: The Honorable Rick Perry, Secretary U.S. Department of Energy
Date: April 12, 2018 @ 10:00 am EDT

House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Hearing: Examining the Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Spending, Priorities and Missions of the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Four Power Marketing Administrations
Date: April 12, 2018 @ 2:00 pm EDT

House Committee on Energy and Commerce  Subcommittee on Environment Hearing: High Octane Fuels and High Efficiency Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities
Date: April 13, 2018 @ 9:00 am EDT

Energy Hearings This Week

House Committee on Natural Resources – Hearing
https://www.bgov.com/events/BDMS264897205
Topic: Subcommittee on Federal Lands Hearing: The Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold a legislative hearing on the following bill: – H.R. 5210 (Rep. Michael K. Simpson), To establish the National Park Restoration Fund, and for other purposes.
Time: 03/20/2018, 2:00 PM
Location: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Hearing
https://www.bgov.com/events/BDMS264915124
Topic: Subcommittee on Energy (Committee on Energy and Commerce) and Subcommittee on Environment (Committee on Energy and Commerce) Joint Hearing: Fiscal Year 2019 Nuclear Regulatory Commission Budget
Time: 03/20/2018, 10:15 AM
Location: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Full Committee Hearing to Examine the President’s Budget Request for the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2019
Time: 03/20/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an oversight hearing titled “Preventing Abuses of Department of the Interior Taxpayer-Funded Grants.”
Time: 03/20/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2247 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY19 – National Nuclear Security Administration
Time: 03/20/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2362 – B Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Meeting: The Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on “Examining the Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Spending, Priorities and Missions of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Four Power Marketing Administrations.”
Time: 03/21/2018, 2:00 PM
Location: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Natural Resources – Markup
Time: 03/21/2018, 10:15 AM
Location: Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY19 – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Time: 03/21/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: H-309 U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “Oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”
Time: 03/21/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing to Examine the 2018 Western Water Supply Outlook and Bills Related to Water Infrastructure and Drought Resiliency
Time: 03/22/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Armed Services Committee “Challenges in the Department of Energy’s Atomic Energy Defense Programs.”
Time: 03/22/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: Room SH-216, Hart Senate Office Building

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY 19 – Applied Energy
Time: 03/22/2018, 9:00 AM
Location: 2362 – B Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Hearing: Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request for Nuclear Forces and Atomic Energy Defense Activities
Time: 03/22/2018, 9:00 AM
Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Energy Hearings This Week

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Full Committee Hearing to Examine the President’s Budget Request for the Department of the Interior for Fiscal Year 2019
Time: 03/13/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: DOE Modernization: Legislation Addressing Cybersecurity and Emergency Response
Time: 03/14/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing: Modernizing Export Controls: Protecting Cutting-Edge Technology and U.S. National Security
Time: 03/14/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing: “Shining Light on the Federal Regulatory Process”
Time: 03/14/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY19 Budget Hearing – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation
Time: 03/14/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2362 – B Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee On Strategic Forces Hearing: “Department of Energy Atomic Energy Defense Activities and Programs.”
Time: 03/14/2018, 2:30 PM
Location: Room SR-232A, Russell Senate Office Building

House Committee on Natural Resources Hearing: The Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing titled “Policy Priorities at the Department of the Interior and the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal.”
Time: 03/15/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Full Committee Hearing to Examine the President’s Budget Request for the U.S. Forest Service for Fiscal Year 2019
Time: 03/15/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Hearing: FY 2019 Budget Hearing – Department of Energy
Time: 03/15/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2362 – B Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Hearing: Oversight Hearing “Abandoned Hardrock Mines and the Role of Non-Governmental Entities.”
Time: 03/15/2018, 2:00 PM
Location: 1324 Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment Hearing: “An Examination of Federal Permitting Processes” (Rescheduled)
Time: 03/15/2018, 2:00 PM
Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

 

Energy Hearing This Week

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology – Hearing
Topic: Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: The Future of U.S. Fusion Energy Research
Time: 03/06/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – Hearing
Topic: Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment Hearing: “Examining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers”
Time: 03/06/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure – Hearing
Topic: House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing: Examining the Administration’s Infrastructure Proposal
Time: 03/06/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – Hearing
Topic: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Full Committee Nomination Hearing
Time: 03/06/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Hearing
Topic: Subcommittee on Environment Hearing: The Future of Transportation Fuels and Vehicles
Time: 03/07/2018, 10:15 AM
Location: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Natural Resources – Markup
Topic: House Committee on Natural Resources Markup: Full Committee
Time: 03/07/2018, 10:15 AM
Location: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure – Hearing
Topic: Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Hearing: Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Long-Term Funding for Highways and Transit Programs
Time: 03/07/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Energy Hearings This Week

House Committee on Energy and Commerce  Subcommittee on Environment Hearing: New Source Review Permitting Challenges for Manufacturing and Infrastructure
Witnesses:
Ms. Emily Hammond: Glen Earl Weston Research Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School; Mr. Jeffrey R. Holmstead: Partner, Bracewell LLP; Mr. Paul Noe: Vice President Public Policy, American Forest and Paper Association and American Wood Council; Mr. Stuart Spencer: Associate Director, ADEQ, Office of Air Quality; Mr. Kevin Sunday: Director of Government Affairs, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; Mr. John D. Walke: Clean Air Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
When:  February 14, 2018 @ 2:00 pm EST
Where:  2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Oversight Hearing, “The State of the Nation’s Water and Power Infrastructure”
Witnesses:
Mr. Nick Wiley, Executive Director, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida
Mr. Jeff Kaelin, Government Relations, Lund’s Fisheries, Inc., Cape May, New Jersey
Charles Witek, Recreational Angler and Outdoor Writer, West Babylon, New York
Mr. Sean Martin, President, Hawaii Longline Association, Honolulu, Hawaii
When:  February 14, 2018 @ 2:00 pm EST
Where:  1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C., Washington, DC, US

House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Hearing: H.R. 520 (Rep. Mark E. Amodei)
When: February 15, 2018 @ 2:00 pm EST
Where:  1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Hearing: “Oversight of Positive Train Control Implementation in the United States”
When:  February 15, 2018 @ 10:00 am EST
Where:  2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Armed Services Hearing: Strategic Competition with China
Witnesses:  Dr. Aaron Friedberg: Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School; Dr. Ely Ratner: Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
When:  February 15, 2018 @ 10:00 am EST
Where:  2118 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Energy Hearings This Week

Both the House and Senate are in session at the beginning of next week.  House Democrats are still scheduled to depart Wednesday afternoon for their annual issues conference in the Maryland Eastern shore

House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Hearing
Topic: Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: DOE Modernization: Advancing the Economic and National Security Benefits of America’s Nuclear Infrastructure
Time: 02/06/2018, 10:00 AM

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Legislative Hearing
Time: 02/07/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

  • S. 414 (Heller) / H.R. 1107 (Amodei), the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act.
  • S. 441 (Udall), the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act.
  • S. 507 (Tester), the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act of 2017.
  • S. 612 (Flake) / H.R. 1547 (McSally), the Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act.
  • S. 1046 (Heller), the Eastern Nevada Economic Development and Land Management Improvement Act.
  • S. 1219 (Cassidy) / H.R. 3392 (Johnson), the Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act.
  • S. 1222 (Flake), the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act.
  • S. 1481 (Murkowski), the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Improvement Act.
  • S. 1665 (Hatch) / H.R. 2582 (Love), the Confirming State Land Grants for Education Act.
  • S. 2062 (Flake), the Oracle Cabins Conveyance Act of 2017.
  • S. 2206 (Daines), the Protect Public Use of Public Lands Act.
  • S. 2218 (Bennet), the West Fork Fire Station Act of 2017.
  • S. 2249 (Udall), the Rio Puerco Watershed Management Program.
  • H.R. 995 (Jefferies), the 21st Century Respect Act.
  • H.R. 1404 (Grijalva), the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Land Conveyance Act.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee – Markup to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler of Virginia, to be Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Time: 02/07/2018, 9:30 AM
Location: 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee – Hearing  “The Impact of Federal Environmental Regulations and Policies on American Farming and Ranching Communities.”
Time: 02/07/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – Full Committee Hearing on Energy Infrastructure
Time: 02/08/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Energy Hearings Next Week

Both the House and Senate are in session at the beginning of next week.  House and Senate Republicans depart next Wednesday afternoon for the Greenbrier Resort in WV for their annual issues conference.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Hearing: Department of Energy: Management and Priorities
Time: 01/30/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Full Committee Hearing: “Oversight Hearing to Receive Testimony from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.”
Time: 01/30/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Full Committee Hearing on Natural Hazards
Time: 01/30/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources markup to consider the nominations of Melissa F. Burnison, of Kentucky, to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs, of Texas, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson, of Idaho, to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White, of Michigan, to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management), and subcommittee assignments for the 115th Congress; to be immediately followed an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.
Time: 01/30/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy Markup: Subcommittee Vote on H.R. 3477, Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act
Time: 01/30/2018, 1:00 PM
Location: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Energy Hearings This Week

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Full Committee Hearing to Examine the Domestic and Global Energy Outlook
Time: 01/16/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Subcommittee on Water and Power Hearing to Examine the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title Transfer Process and Potential Benefits to Federal and Non-Federal Stakeholders
Time: 01/17/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: Full Committee Hearing: “America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges: Federal Panel.”
Time: 01/17/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Full Committee Hearing to Consider DOE Nominees
Time: 01/18/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing: “America’s Water Resources Infrastructure: Approaches to Enhanced Project Delivery”
Time: 01/18/2018, 10:00 AM
Location: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Subcommittee on Environment Hearing: Modernizing the Superfund Cleanup Program
Time: 01/18/2018, 10:15 AM
Location: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: Legislation Addressing LNG Exports and PURPA Modernization
Time: 01/19/2018, 9:15 AM
Location: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

 

Trump’s Busy Year on Energy and the Environment

During his first year in Washington, President Trump made his mark on energy and environmental issues by issuing executive orders (EOs), proclamations, and presidential memoranda.  Seeking to undo regulations enacted during the Obama administration, President Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accord, rescinded the Clean Power Plan, scaled back regulations on the fossil fuel industry, and pushed for more drilling on land and at sea.  Here are some of the most significant executive orders affecting the environmental and energy arena issued in 2017:

1. “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects,” EO 13766. (January 24, 2017.)

This order establishes a new system by which to fast-track the construction of infrastructure projects.  It directs executive agencies to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects.  Projects such as electrical grid improvements and upgrades to ports, airports, pipelines, bridges, highways, and other projects that are deemed a “high priority to the nation” should be granted preference in this process.  Governors of States and executive agency heads may request that the Chairman of the White House Council approve infrastructure projects where a Federal review is needed. The Chairman shall provide a response within 30 days. The signing of EO 13766 came on the same day Trump signed Presidential memoranda, which approved the construction of the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline, and stipulated that all new pipelines in the United States must be constructed using materials and equipment produced in the United States.

2. “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” EO 13771. (January 30, 2017.)

This order states that executive departments and agencies who plan to publicly announce a new regulation must propose at least two regulations which will in turn be repealed. The cost of the implementation of these new regulations must be less than or equal to 0 dollars. If costs above 0 dollars are accrued, the payment of these costs shall be funded through the elimination of more regulations. Advice on the financial aspect of these matters is provided by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. It also directs the head of each agency to keep records of the cost savings and send those records to the president.

3. “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ [WOTUS] Rule,” EO 13778. (Feb. 28, 2017.)

This order calls on federal agencies to revise the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule or WOTUS Rule. Published in 2015, WOTUS expanded the number of water features subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to include ephemeral streams, channels, ponds, and isolated water features that were not clearly covered by the statute or guidance issued by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. But the WOTUS rule can’t simply be repealed through executive order.  Instead, both the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA must go through the federal rulemaking process to replace it.  Acordingly, the order directs the administrator of EPA and the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works to review the WOTUS Rule and propose a new regulation that either revises or eliminates it.

4. “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” EO 13783. (March 28, 2017.)

This order seeks to dismantle many of the key actions that have been undertaken at the federal level to address climate change.  The order directs EPA to review and potentially rescind or re-write major regulations such as the Clean Power Plan (CO2 emission standards for existing power plants), CO2 emission standards for new power plants, and methane emission standards for the oil and gas sector. It also revokes a number of executive orders and actions, including: guidance on calculating the social costs of greenhouse gas emissions, a moratorium on federal coal leasing, and guidance on how to account for climate change in environmental reviews. Finally, it directs all agencies to review existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions that could burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources, and to develop recommendations on how to alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy production.

5. “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” EO 13783. (April 28, 2017.)

This order reverses an earlier ban on Arctic leasing put in place by the Obama administration, and establishes a national policy of encouraging offshore energy exploration and production.  It revokes decisions to withdraw certain areas of the Outer Continental Shelf in Alaska and the Atlantic Coast from leasing, and directs the Interior Secretary to review areas available for off-shore oil and gas exploration.

6. “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure,” EO 13817. (August 15, 2017.)

This order seeks to ensure that the federal environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects is coordinated, predictable, and transparent.  It establishes “One Federal Decision” for major infrastructure projects, assigning each project a lead federal agency and creating a performance accountability system to track its progress. It also sets a goal of cutting the review/permitting time from more than seven years (the current average when an Environmental Impact Statement is involved) to just two years. It also revokes EO 13690, which mandated stricter environmental review standards in floodplains as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and required planners to use flooding predictions that incorporated climate science.

 

President Trump also issued several proclamations and presidential memoranda with significant impacts on the energy sector.  Most notably, President Trump issued a proclamation on December 4, 2018, which substantially reduced the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.  Utah Republicans called the designations of these monuments overzealous land grabs, and shortly after he took office, Trump promised to end what he called presidential “abuses” and give control of the land “back to the people.” In the end, Trump shrank both monuments by nearly 2 million acres, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the borders of other monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as in the West, are under review.

Finally, the heads of federal agencies can also issue directives with major regulatory ramifications.   For instance, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued an EPA-wide directive on October 16, 2017 directive to designed to end “sue and settle” practices with the Agency.  These practices involved the use of consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against EPA by special interest groups.  Over the years, outside the regulatory process, these groups used litigation to force federal agencies – especially EPA – to compel the Agency to take certain steps, either through change in a statutory duty or enforcing timelines set by the law, and then EPA will acquiesce through a consent decree or settlement agreement, affecting the Agency’s obligations under the statute. Frequently, these agreements were reached with little to no public input or transparency. Whether this directive truly marks an end to “the days of regulation through litigation,” as Mr. Pruitt proclaimed, remains to be seen.

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