By

Samuel Boxerman

06 July 2017

Stakeholders Assess the Effects of the Changing Mix of U.S. Energy Resources

In anticipation of the Department of Energy’s review of the nation’s power grid, stakeholder groups have recently published reports on the state of the U.S. power grid.  The reports add to the debate over what mix of energy resources are needed to sustain a stable, secure and reliable supply of electricity in the United States.

An April 14, 2017 memo from Energy Secretary Rick Perry directing the Energy Department to “explore critical issues central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid” has focused the debate.  According to Secretary Perry, the 60-day review would assess whether federal policies have caused “the erosion of critical baseload resources.”  This includes an assessment of whether reduced coal-fired power generation due “in part from regulatory burdens introduced by previous administrations” has hurt the supply of baseload power and will “undercut the performance of the grid well into the future.”  (more…)

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29 June 2017

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Issues Final Framework Rules for New Chemical Evaluation Regulatory Program

On June 22, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took historic action under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended last year by the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act of 2016. First, EPA promulgated three final rules that will guide a new TSCA program to identify and evaluate chemicals in the United States by establishing (1) the procedures to “reset” the TSCA chemical inventory; (2) the procedures to prioritize the chemicals that will be evaluated; and (3) the methodology EPA will use for conducting chemical risk evaluations. Second, EPA released guidance for interested parties to submit their own risk evaluations. Last, EPA released their scope of work for the first chemicals that EPA will evaluate. (more…)

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28 June 2017

Step One – EPA’s Proposal to Repeal the Obama Administration’s Definition of “Waters of the United States”

Yesterday, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the formal process of repealing and replacing the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule (“Rule”).  Promulgated in 2015, the controversial Rule had broadly defined the term “waters of the United States,” which establishes the limits of jurisdiction under the federal Clean Water Act.  In February of this year, President Trump signed an Executive Order that directed EPA and the Corps to review the 2015 Rule and issue a proposed rule rescinding or revising the Rule as appropriate and consistent with law.  (more…)

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02 June 2017

President Trump Announces Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

President Donald Trump followed through on one of his signature campaign promises and announced Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Paris Agreement is an international accord intended to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Nearly 200 countries signed the Agreement, which took effect in November 2016. The Agreement is not a binding treaty. Instead, the signatories agreed to set voluntary, individualized carbon emission targets. The U.S. target was to reduce GHG emissions by 26–28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

(more…)

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21 April 2017

EPA Seeks Stakeholder Comments on Reforming Existing Regulations

*This article originally appeared in Washington Legal Foundation’s Counsel’s Advisory at wlf.org on April 21, 2017.

President Trump has made regulatory reform a priority for his Administration. Among other actions, on February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, which mandates that each agency establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to “evaluate existing regulations … and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law.”

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03 April 2017

President Issues Executive Order on Energy and Climate

On March 28, President Donald Trump issued an executive order called Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (Order). The Order charts a new course for United States energy policy by directing agencies to reverse actions taken by the Obama administration to address climate change, including the Clean Power Plan. Specifically:

(more…)

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15 February 2017

Challenge to “Two-for-One” Executive Order Raises Questions About How the Order Will Affect Regulations

On January 30, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13771 (EO), requiring executive branch agencies to repeal two rules for every one issued. Entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” the EO also directs that all new agency regulations promulgated during fiscal year 2017 should not impose a net increase in costs.

(more…)

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