“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,” Executive Orders and Memorandums Directing Environmental and Regulatory Policy


New directions in environmental and regulatory policy are outlined in these Executive Orders and Presidential seal-300x207Memorandums that have been issued in the past few days:

  1. An Executive Order, dated January 30, 2017, requiring federal executive departments and agencies, whenever they propose to add a new regulation, to delete two existing regulations (Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs);
  2. A Memorandum dated January 24, 2017, directing the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan by which, to the extent possible, all new pipelines or the retrofitting of older pipelines, shall, to the maximum extent, be constructed with pipeline components that are “produced in the United States”, and the Secretary shall provide this plan to the President in 180 days (Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines)
  3. A Memorandum dated January 24, 2017, ordering the relevant government agencies, in particular the Army Corps of Engineers, to expedite the provision of all the authority needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline (Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline);
  4. A Memorandum dated January 24, 2017, inviting the owners and operators of the Keystone XL Pipeline to reapply for all necessary permits needed to construct the pipeline and the Secretary of State shall issue a final permitting decision in 60 days (Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline);
  5. A Memorandum dated January 24, 2017 directed to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies to support the expansion of domestic manufacturing by streamlining the permitting process and reducing regulatory burdens (Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing); and
  6. A Memorandum dated January 24, 2017 instructs departments and agencies, with respect to regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but that have not taken effect, as permitted by applicable law, to A) temporarily postpone their effective date for 60 days for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy they raise, B) where appropriate, to consider proposing for notice and comment a rule to delay the effective date for regulations beyond that 60 day period, and C) in cases where the effective date has been delayed in order to review questions of fact, law, or policy, departments and agencies are to consider potentially proposing further notice-and-comment rulemaking (Memorandum: Implementation of Regulatory Freeze). Exclude from these actions are any regulations “subject to statutory or judicial deadlines.”

The Secretary of Commerce will take the lead in conducting “outreach” to stakeholders concerning the impact of federal regulations and how to streamline the process.

Quote in Title:  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Photo:  Dave Newman, Presidential Seal, Taken January 11, 2011 – Creative Commons