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Trump orders agencies to review rules encumbering energy production

SNL Image

President Donald Trump, accompanied by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Vice President Mike Pence, signs the Energy Independence Executive Order at EPA headquarters.

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Donald Trump's executive order promoting energy independence and economic growth, signed March 28, directs federal agencies to conduct a review of any existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. Any regulations deemed unduly burdensome beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest are to be appropriately suspended, revised or rescinded.

"It is in the national interest 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," the order reads. "Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the nation's geopolitical security."

Signed at the U.S. EPA headquarters, the executive order says that all agencies should take appropriate actions to promote clean air and water for the American people while also respecting the proper roles of Congress and the states.

The review should include any regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies and other similar agency actions that may hinder production of domestic energy resources, particularly oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy. Any agency actions that are required by law or necessary for the public interest are exempt.

The order also specifically cites certain actions promulgated under the Obama administration that are to be targeted for repeal or other significant changes:

* Nov. 1, 2013, executive order: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.

* June 2013 report: The President's Climate Action Plan.

* June 25, 2013, presidential memorandum: Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards.

* March 2014 report: Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.

* Nov. 3, 2015, presidential memorandum: Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.

* Sept. 21, 2016, presidential memorandum: Climate Change and National Security.

* Aug. 5, 2016, Council on Environmental Quality guidance: Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews.

* Any agency actions related to, or arising from, the above presidential actions.

* Oct. 23, 2015, EPA regulations: The Clean Power Plan and related rules and actions, including the template plan and model trading rules. The order also directs for review of a similar carbon-cutting rule for new, modified and reconstructed power plants.

* February 2010 governmental policy: The Social Cost of Carbon and related actions. The order also disbands the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.

* Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. Department of the Interior order: The order lifts the federal coal leasing moratorium and authorizes the secretary to commence federal coal leasing activities consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.

* June 3, 2016, EPA regulation: Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources and any associated rules or guidance.

* March 26, 2015, DOI order: Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.

* Nov. 4, 2016, DOI order: General Provisions and Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights.

* Nov. 14, 2016, DOI order: Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights.

* Nov. 18, 2016, DOI order: Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation.

Both the secretary of the interior and the administrator of the EPA are also directed to inform the attorney general of any litigation pending against the rules identified for review in the order, so that the U.S. Department of Justice can request those court matters be put on hold.