Energy & Environment

White House details plan to roll back environmental regs

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The Trump administration provided details for its aggressive plan to roll back environmental regulations Thursday.

In the first regulatory agenda of the Trump administration, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget detailed when and how agencies plan to repeal numerous Obama administration rules regarding air and water pollution, fossil fuel extraction and more.

Many of the rollbacks had already been announced, though some new timelines or justifications were revealed.

{mosads}The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, limiting carbon dioxide output from power plants, “on grounds that it exceeds the statutory authority” given to the agency in the Clean Air Act.

The EPA did not provide a timeline for when it will complete the regulatory process to repeal the climate change regulation. It will require a proposed regulation, comment period and final rule.

Former President Barack Obama’s Clean Water Rule, also known as “waters of the United States,” is also on the chopping block.

The EPA revealed in the regulatory agenda that it plans to propose a replacement for the water rule in December. It has already formally proposed to repeal the 2015 Obama rule, but did not provide a timeline for completing that repeal process.

Next month, the EPA is planning to make final delays to a handful of regulations that it plans to revise or repeal: standards for water pollution from power plants, methane pollution limits for landfills and methane limits for oil and gas drilling.

In the Interior Department, the administration said it plans to publish formal proposals this month to repeal two contentious Obama rules, one regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal land and one regarding methane emissions from oil and gas drilling on federal land.

The administration previously said it plans to repeal both rules. The fracking rule was overturned by a federal court last year, but the Obama administration appealed, and environmental groups will argue in an appeals court this month that it must be upheld.

Interior is also taking action on an Obama rule that would have allowed higher royalty rates for oil, natural gas and coal extraction on federal land. The administration stopped that rule earlier this year and plans to formally repeal it in September, and then propose a replacement rule in October.

Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service has numerous Endangered Species Act reviews for potential species protections on its agenda. That includes the contentious lesser prairie chicken, which the agency will make a decision about in September.

The Department of Energy (DOE) also has a full agenda of potential rules to consider. Officials must in the coming years decide whether to write new energy efficiency rules for a wide range of products like freezers, air conditioners, transformers, microwaves, ice makers and more.

DOE revealed in the agenda that it is working on regulations for “small-scale” exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The agency is responsible for reviewing applications to export LNG, and said it is looking into a possible separate review process for smaller-scale applications, which it did not define in the agenda.

Tags Barack Obama Department of Energy Environmental Protection Agency Interior Department

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