Trump Wiped Out $14 Billion In Energy Regulations With The Stroke Of A Pen

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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President Donald Trump targeted $14 billion worth of regulations for review when he signed an executive order to promote energy independence in late March, according to a new report.

“Deregulation on this scale, more than $14 billion in just one presidential directive, is unseen since the early days of the Reagan Administration,” wrote Sam Batkins, the regulatory policy director at the right-leaning American Action Forum.

“In order for the administration’s regulatory budget to operate, bombshell deregulatory actions like this [executive order] are likely necessary to achieve neutral cost growth,” Batkins wrote in a new report.

In late March, Trump ordered the Environmental Protection agency and Department of the Interior to review regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil and natural gas drilling operations.

“The largest target of the EO is the Clean Power Plan. It was the third-most expensive regulation from the Obama Administration and it was designed to save 265 million tons of carbon dioxide and reduce global temperatures by 0.019 Celsius,” Batkins wrote.

Trump also rescinded Obama administration global warming directives to federal agencies, and ordered the review of Interior Department rules for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal lands.

Assuming these regulations are rescinded, as many expect them to be, Trump’s order “addresses $14.6 billion in past rulemakings and more than one million paperwork burden hours,” according to Batkins.

In total, Trump’s ordered the review of more than $50 billion worth of Obama-era regulations — the costliest being the fiduciary rule that’s part of the Dodd-Frank bill. The fiduciary rule was estimated to cost $31.5 billion.

But the fiduciary rule is the only non-energy related rule to be put under review by the Trump administration.

The White House has ordered agencies to review at least 10 major environmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan, the “waters of the U.S.” rule, fracking rules and fuel efficiency standards. Those rules cost $19.3 billion.

The Trump administration has delayed implementing nearly $12 billion in regulations. Democratic attorneys general and environmentalists sued the Trump administration for delaying the implementation of energy efficiency regulations for ceiling fans.

Environmentalists vowed further legal action if more energy regulations are delayed. Other left-leaning groups have made similar promises of legal action.

Even without lawsuits, it could take months or even years to repeal major regulations, like the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

“To give an estimate of how long it will take to undo, writing the rule originally took roughly 3.8 years to complete,” Batkins wrote. “In other words, with legal challenges, undoing the Clean Power Plan could easily take the entire first term of President Trump.”

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