The Trump administration should streamline energy project approvals, re-prioritize federally-funded labs and review regulations on household appliances, according to the Energy Department.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry issued a report Wednesday on federal policies that hamper domestic energy production. Officials on the Energy Department’s regulatory task force created the report in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order from March.
Trump’s made “energy dominance” a key part of his economic agenda, which is a striking contrast to the Obama administration’s focus on fighting global warming.
“Through our ongoing efforts, we will promote job creation and economic growth, unleash American energy dominance, and advance the energy security of our international trading partners,” Perry said in a statement on the report’s release.
The report calls for faster permitting of small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. The Energy Department already proposed a rule to greenlight small-scale gas export projects to countries without free trade agreements with the U.S.
The Energy Department task force also called for reviewing the priorities of national laboratories across the country. Officials also suggested looking at regulations keeping major projects on hold, specifically National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews.
NEPA reviews only apply to a few major energy projects, but those tend to be the ones with the most economic benefits. The NEPA process can take more than seven years to complete and add millions of dollars in costs, according to a recent report.
The task force also recommended looking at efficiency regulations for household appliances. Republican lawmakers have opposed such regulations for years, arguing they overpromise on energy savings and over-deliver on upfront costs.
The Trump administration delayed pending Obama-era regulations on portable air conditioners, emergency backup power sources, air compressors, commercial boilers and walk-in coolers and freezers.
Environmentalists sued to force the Trump administration implement regulations on ceiling fans and other appliances. The ceiling fan regulation alone is projected to cost $4.4 billion.
The Energy Department suggested reviewing the way energy efficiency rules are evaluated, including scrutinizing the cost-benefit process and how products are tested.
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