Obama’s ‘Midnight’ Environmental Regs Will Cost $5 Billion Or More

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Regulations President Barack Obama’s administration finalized after November’s election but before President-elect Donald Trump takes office will cost taxpayers $5.1 billion, according to analysis from a conservative think tank.

A new American Action Forum (AAF) paper estimates five “midnight” regulations — finalized after Election Day but before Inauguration Day — from the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will amount to $5.1 billion in costs and more than 350,000 paperwork burden hours.

The five finalized regulations, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, involve methane production on public lands, renewable fuel standards, stream protection, offshore oil and gas leasing, and renewable development on federal lands.

The Obama administration proposed all of those rules but one — EPA’s renewable fuels standard — before Election Day, so the timing is more likely due to delays than an attempt to push a last-minute agenda, AAF said.

The total cost of midnight regulations could be higher. The AAF discovered three additional rules the Obama administration proposed that could create a total price tag of $6 billion if finalized before Trump takes office. (RELATED: Obama Finalized $100 Billion Worth Of New Regulations This Year)

Obama isn’t the only president to push last-minute regulations. His predecessor, former President George W. Bush, issued dozens of such midnight regulations, including rules that allowed hospital workers to refuse to perform abortions and opened public lands to oil shale extraction.

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