October 9, 2018
Several of the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency’s most expensive and far-reaching Clean Air Act regulations are back in the news now that the Trump administration is trying to scale them back. While there is little doubt that potential changes to the Clean Power Plan, Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, and Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules could save billions of dollars and countless jobs, they are far from the only Obama EPA rules in need of review.
September 14, 2018
Maryland, New York, and Connecticut are following California’s lead in proposing restrictions on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the class of refrigerants widely used in home and car air conditioners as well as the refrigeration equipment in millions of small businesses like restaurants and convenience stores. State legislators and governors are doing so on the grounds that HFCs contribute to global warming.
August 24, 2018
The Trump administration has initiated several steps to streamline the federal permitting process for major projects, including resource extraction and infrastructure. In particular, it has focused on the need to fix the problems surrounding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which can add years of delays and tens of millions of dollars to the cost of job-creating projects and serves to kill some worthy projects outright.
August 10, 2018
Energy and Environment News reported Wednesday that the Trump Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing back against two last-minute Obama regulations that would expand the applicability of the de facto ban on incandescent light bulbs. At issue are a number of specialty bulbs that the last administration wanted to add to the ban. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) argues that the Obama DOE went beyond its statutory authority and that doing so would harm both consumers and manufacturers.
July 13, 2018
The U.N. Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances would restrict many of the cheapest and most effective refrigerants now used in home and car air conditioners as well as most commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.
June 30, 2018
In a move that furthers the Trump administration’s goal of reducing unnecessary and duplicative red tape while also helping refocus his agency’s efforts on its statutorily-defined core functions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum announcing that the agency would limit its interference with the Army Corps of Engineers’ permitting process under the Clean Water Act. In particular, Administrator Pruitt said the agency will prepare a proposed regulation that restricts EPA’s ability to override the Army Corps’ permitting decisions either before or after the fact.
June 21, 2018
It has now been more than decade since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was last revised, and the program is not getting any better with age. It unnecessarily interferes with the motor fuels marketplace, hurts consumers, and even fails to deliver the promised environmental and farm economy benefits. The 115th Congress deserves some credit for taking a critical look at the program, but it lacks the resolve to definitively address its problems. This is unlikely to change as we head into the 2018 elections.
June 17, 2018
The White House has announced that President Donald J. Trump will nominate two individuals for positions of considerable importance to energy and environmental issues.
June 16, 2018
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which would restrict production of many commonly-used refrigerants on the grounds that they contribute to global warming, was signed by President Obama in 2016 but still needs to be submitted by President Trump to the Senate for the required two-thirds ratification before becoming law.
June 10, 2018
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on energy held a hearing on June 7th on energy infrastructure licensing reform. Although Improving the Hydropower Licensing Process focused only on hydroelectric projects, the issues it highlighted are relevant to the challenges facing many kinds of infrastructure projects and lend support to efforts to streamline the federal approval process.