Environment & Energy Industries Expected to See Significant Relaxation of Regulations in 2017 under President Trump

Environment & Energy Industries Expected to See Significant Relaxation of Regulations in 2017 under President Trump

Clean Power Plan; Waters of the United States Rule; The 2015 ozone air pollution standards. These are among the Obama administration’s environment and energy regulations the Trump administration is looking to repeal, according to Bloomberg BNA’s 2017 Environment and Energy Outlook.

“It is clear that the cornerstones of President Obama’s environmental legacy will be under siege by the Trump White House and the Republican Congress,” said Larry Pearl, News Director, Environment and Energy, Bloomberg BNA. “Environmental advocates and Democrats will be aggressively defending the measures put in place in the previous administration, and it appears that they will have to wage a battle on many fronts for the foreseeable future.”

Highlights of the Outlook include:

Air and Climate: Trump has repeatedly vowed to undo the Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s carbon dioxide limits on power plants. Environmental advocacy organizations will be battling to stave off any Trump administration efforts to pull back from the Clean Power Plan and other U.S. and international initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Trump administration also may target regulations to curb ground-level ozone and industrial emissions that were hallmarks of President Obama’s environmental legacy.

Energy: Attorneys and industry observers expect the new administration to curtail energy regulations.  More federal lands may be opened up for oil and gas exploration and Trump has voiced his support for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.  Additionally, Yucca Mountain could be brought back to life as a potential nuclear waste repository under the Trump administration and a Republican Congress.

Water: A rule clarifying which waters the federal government can regulate may not come to pass even before a court decides its legality, if a Trump Justice Department refuses, as expected, to defend it against dozens of legal challenges. On the water resources and infrastructure front, emergency federal assistance will go to Flint and other cities with deteriorating water systems, thanks to the December enactment of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.

Chemicals: In 2016, Congress approved a bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s primary chemical control law, the Toxic Substances Control Act. In 2017, EPA will continue to implement the amended law, proposing rules on how to prioritize chemicals for risk evaluation and how to conduct those evaluations, among other initiatives.

(Source: Bloomberg BNA)