REPORT: Trump Could Cut $42 Billion Worth Of Regs Upon Taking Office

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress could eliminate at least $42 billion worth of major federal regulations in January, according to a new report.

Trump said on the campaign trail that 70 percent of federal regulations “can go,” so the American Action Forum (AAF) put together a list of 48 major regulations Congress could invalidate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

“Together, those rules impose more than $42.5 billion in total costs, $6.5 billion in annualized costs, and 53 million paperwork burden hours,” AAF analysts Sam Batkins and Dan Goldbeck wrote in a new report.

“Republicans have the opportunity to enact regulatory reform on a scale not witnessed since President Reagan,” they wrote. “CRA disapproval resolutions seem poised to be a significant part of those plans.”

The CRA gives Trump the opportunity to eliminate a bunch of regulations imposed under President Barack Obama, including at least two costly energy rules.

Trump could repeal the Department of the Interior’s rule restricting Arctic offshore drilling and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel efficiency rule for heavy trucks. Interior recently announced a new rule for flaring natural gas on federal lands, which is estimated to cost $1.4 billion.

The Arctic drilling rule costs more than $2 billion, and EPA fuel efficiency standards cost a whopping $29.3 billion, according to federal estimates.

“Although it is unlikely that Congress will cash in all its political capital to this end, several high-profile major rules – and their sizable burdens – could go by the wayside in 2017,” Batkins and Goldbeck wrote.

Trump could end up getting rid of even more regulations early on in his presidency based on reports that both Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told their employees they would be working hard to finish more rules before Obama leaves office.

“As I’ve mentioned to you before, we’re running — not walking — through the finish line of President Obama’s presidency,” McCarthy wrote in an email to staff after Trump won the election.

Federal agencies already added 78,020 pages of new regulations to the Federal Register so far this year, and more pages are likely on the way as agencies rolls out more “midnight” regulations.

The Obama administration imposed millions, and sometimes, billions of dollars in new rules virtually every week this year, adding more than $148 billion worth of new regulations so far. The total federal regulatory burden costs the economy $1.8 trillion per year.

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