April 16, 2021

Volume XI, Number 106

Advertisement

April 16, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

April 15, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

April 14, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

President Trump Signs Executive Order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth”

On March 28, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Touted by the administration as both “protecting the environment and promoting [the] economy,”[1] the Order aims to “promote clean and safe development of our Nation’s vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.”

To accomplish these goals, the Order rescinds key pieces of the prior administration’s environmental agenda and requires federal departments and agencies to begin a review process that will likely result in the rolling back of several Obama Administration regulations, including the controversial “Clean Power Plan,” that were designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Specifically, the Order:

  • Requires the heads of Federal agencies to conduct an immediate review of all agency actions that potentially burden the safe, efficient development of domestic energy resources; agency heads have 180 days to present a plan for carrying out the review to the Office of Management and Budget, conduct the review, and issue a final report detailing the existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and other similar agency actions reviewed by the agency along with each agency’s recommendations for alleviating any undue burdens it has identified;

  • Rescinds the Obama administration’s 2013 Executive Order “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change” and three of the prior administration’s presidential memoranda issued in 2013, 2015, and 2016, respectively, which were aimed at reducing carbon pollution from the power sector; protecting natural resources; and addressing climate change-related impacts as part of U.S. national security policy;

  • Rescinds President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan focusing on reducing carbon pollution and a similar strategy to reduce methane emissions;

  • Orders the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to rescind its August 2016 guidance to Federal agencies regarding the consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during environmental impact reviews under NEPA;[2]

  • Directs the heads of Federal agencies to identify existing regulations related to any of the rescinded Obama administration actions or the CEQ guidance and to “suspend, revise, or rescind” – or publish a proposal to do so – “as soon as practicable”;

  • Instructs EPA to review and then suspend, revise or rescind, as appropriate (1) the Clean Power Plan, which requires substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants;[3] (2) the final rule setting similar standards for new power plants;[4] and (3) a proposed rule that both established a federal plan applicable to states that fail to develop their own plan to meet the emission reductions under the Clean Power Plan and suggested a model trading plan states could incorporate into their compliance plans;[5]

  • Orders federal departments and agencies to stop using the “social cost of carbon” ($36 per ton) established by the Obama Administration; disbands the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and withdraws its guidance calculating the social cost of carbon and methane and nitrous oxide;

  • Directs the Department of Interior to revoke the Obama administration’s moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands;

  • Requires EPA to review its final rule addressing methane emissions from new oil and natural gas sources;[6] and requires the Department of Interior to review its regulations impacting the oil and natural gas sector, including those involving hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian lands[7] and venting and flaring during oil and gas production on onshore Federal and Indian leases;[8]

  • Directs EPA and Interior to work with the Attorney General to put on hold any litigation regarding any of the regulations mentioned above.


[1] https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/daily-press-briefing-press-secretary-sean-spicer-30.

[2] 81 Fed. Reg. 51866 (Aug. 5, 2016).

[3] 80 Fed. Reg. 64661 (Oct. 23, 2015).

[4] 80 Fed. Reg. 64509 (Oct. 23, 2015).

[5] 80 Fed. Reg. 64966 (Oct. 23, 2015).

[6] 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016).

[7] 80 Fed. Reg. 16128 (Mar. 26, 2015).

[8] 81 Fed. Reg. 83008 (Nov. 17, 2016).

Advertisement
© 2021 Bracewell LLPNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 88
Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS

Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Bracewell Law Firm, Environmental Law Attorney
Partner

Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Air and Radiation, is one of the nation's leading climate change lawyers as recognized by Chambers USA and heads the Environmental Strategies Group (ESG) at Bracewell. The ESG is a multi-disciplinary group that includes environmental and energy attorneys, public policy advocates, and strategic communications experts – most of whom have had high-level government experience.  Under Mr. Holmstead's leadership, they work together on daily basis to advise and defend...

202-828-5852
Brittany M. Pemberton, Attorney, Energy Reg, Bracewell Law Firm
Associate

Brittany Pemberton represents clients in energy regulation and policy matters. She focuses on obtaining Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state authorizations for major projects and transactions as well as federal and state regulatory compliance matters.

While in law school, Brittany worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, the Water Law Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel, and the Division of Mineral...

202-828-1708
Advertisement
Advertisement