Overnight Regulation: Trump administration delays Obama-era energy standards

Overnight Regulation: Trump administration delays Obama-era energy standards
© Greg Nash

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington, where President Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch began his confirmation hearing.

Here's the latest.



Obama energy standards delayed: The Trump administration is delaying a half-dozen Obama-era energy standards.

Among the rules being postponed by the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy are testing procedures for walk-in coolers and freezers. Those testing rules had been delayed once already, after President Trump's regulatory moratorium, but the agency said new Energy Secretary Rick Perry needed extra time to review them. Those rules will be delayed until June.

Other delayed energy efficiency rules cover central air conditioners, heat pumps and compressors.

Regulators are also delaying energy standards for ceiling fans until

Sept. 30.

The agency's energy efficiency standards for the construction of federal residential buildings are being delayed until September.


More time needed for electric car safety rule: Regulators at the Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are postponing new requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles. The rules would have created "minimum sound requirements" for those vehicles.

Electric vehicles are much quieter than traditional gas-powered cars. Safety advocates say that leads to more accidents where pedestrians and other cars, unaware that electric vehicles are nearby, are hit.

The minimum sound requirements would have mandated that electric vehicles make sufficient noise at low speeds to alert pedestrians and other vehicles and avoid accidents.

The NHTSA said more time is needed to review the rule, which is now delayed until May 22, 2017. 



The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet for day two of their hearings on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing to examine FDA user fee agreements and look at ways to improve medical product innovation for patients.

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition will hold a hearing on nutrition programs in the next Farm Bill. 

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to discuss the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. 

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development will hold a hearing to discuss ways to improve federal student financial aid. 



Keep an eye on these rules in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register:

Here's what is happening:

--The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will delay new training requirements for truck and bus drivers.

The Obama administration issued the training requirements in December for entry-level drivers seeking their first commercial driver's license. But the Trump administration delayed the rule in February. This will be the second delay.

The training requirements will now go into effect on May 22.

--The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will delay train safety requirements.

The Obama administration issued new safety requirements for commuter trains last August, but the agency delayed the rule in February to comply with Trump's regulatory moratorium. This will be the second delay.

The safety requirements will now go into effect in 60 days.



Live coverage: Supreme Court nominee hearings begin 

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal from Sen. Menendez 

Five things to watch for in Supreme Court showdown 

Fitch: Insurers have made 'enduring' changes because of Labor investment adviser rule

Feds temporarily ban electronics on certain flights to US

Business groups endorse Trump's Labor pick

FCC head: The media is not the 'enemy of the people'

GOP rep 'concerned' about EPA chief's climate comments

Trump freezes Obama-era energy rules

Mulvaney tells department heads to stay quiet amid budget rollout

White House installs political aids at Cabinet agencies to be Trump's eyes and ears – The Washington Post 

Six highlights from the Gorsuch confirmation hearing – The New York Times 

Congress may undo rule that pushes firms to keep good safety records – NPR 



10: Proposed rules.

22: Final rules

(Source: Tuesday's Federal Register)

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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