Trump Has Reversed Almost 100 Environmental Regulations Since Taking Office

Trump Has Reversed Almost 100 Environmental Regulations Since Taking Office


Here’s some news that’s sure to anger climate activists (looking at you, Greta Thunberg.)

President Trump has done away with nearly 100 environmental regulations in his first 3 years in office, in effect rolling back Obama’s legacy in that department.

In honor of the new year, The New York Times recently put together a full list of the environmental rules Trump has either totally reversed or is in the process of rolling back.

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Joe Biden tweeted out the list on his Twitter page, and he's not happy!

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Here's the list, from The New York Times:

Air pollution and emissions

    

Completed

1. Canceled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.Environmental Protection Agency| Read more

2. Revised and partially repealed an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions on public lands, including intentional venting and flaring from drilling operations.Interior Department| Read more

3. Replaced the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have set strict limits on carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants, with a new version that would let states set their own rules.Executive Order; E.P.A.| Read more

4. Revoked California’s power to set its own more stringent emissions standards for cars and light trucks.E.P.A.| Read more

5. Repealed a requirement that state and regional authorities track tailpipe emissions from vehicles traveling on federal highways.Transportation Department| Read more

6. Loosened a Clinton-era rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters.E.P.A.| Read more

7. Revised a permiting program designed to safeguard communities from increases in pollution from new power plants to make it easier for facilities to avoid emissions regulations.E.P.A.| Read more

8. Amended rules that govern how refineries monitor pollution in surrounding communities.E.P.A.| Read more

9. Stopped enforcing a 2015 rule that prohibited the use of hydrofluorocarbons, powerful greenhouse gases, in air-conditioners and refrigerators.E.P.A.| Read more

10. Weakened an Obama-era rule meant to reduce air pollution in national parks and wilderness areas.E.P.A.| Read more

11. Weakened oversight of some state plans for reducing air pollution in national parks. E.P.A.| Read more

12. Directed agencies to stop using an Obama-era calculation of the “social cost of carbon” that rulemakers used to estimate the long-term economic benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Executive Order| Read more

13. Withdrew guidance that federal agencies include greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews. But several district courts have ruled that emissions must be included in such reviews.Executive Order; Council on Environmental Quality| Read more

14. Lifted a summertime ban on the use of E15, a gasoline blend made of 15 percent ethanol. (Burning gasoline with a higher concentration of ethanol in hot conditions increases smog.)E.P.A.| Read more

15. Changed rules to allow states and the E.P.A. to take longer to develop and approve plans aimed at cutting methane emissions from existing landfills.E.P.A.| Read more

16. Revoked an Obama executive order that set a goal of cutting the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 10 years.Executive Order| Read more

  

In process

17. Proposed relaxing Obama-era requirements that companies monitor and repair methane leaks at oil and gas facilities.E.P.A. | Read more

18. Proposed weakening Obama-era fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks. E.P.A. and Transportation Department| Read more

19. Submitted notice of intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The process of withdrawing cannot be completed until November 2020.Executive Order| Read more

20. Proposed eliminating Obama-era restrictions that in effect required newly built coal power plants to capture carbon dioxide emissions.E.P.A.| Read more

21. Proposed a legal justification for weakening an Obama-era rule that limited mercury emissions from coal power plants.E.P.A.| Read more

22. Proposed revisions to standards for carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified and reconstructed power plants.Executive Order; E.P.A.| Read more

23. Began a review of emissions rules for power plant start-ups, shutdowns and malfunctions. In April, the E.P.A. proposed reversing a requirement that Texas follow the emissions rule, with implications for 35 other states.E.P.A.| Read more

24. Proposed the repeal of rules meant to reduce leaking and venting of hydrofluorocarbons from large refrigeration and air conditioning systems.E.P.A.| Read more

25. Opened for comment a proposal limiting the ability of individuals and communities to challenge E.P.A.-issued pollution permits before a panel of agency judges. E.P.A.| Read more

    

Drilling and extraction

    

Completed

26. Made significant cuts to the borders of two national monuments in Utah and recommended border and resource management changes to several more.Presidential Proclamation; Interior Department| Read more

27. Rescinded water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands. Interior Department| Read more

28. Scrapped a proposed rule that required mines to prove they could pay to clean up future pollution.E.P.A.| Read more

29. Withdrew a requirement that Gulf oil rig owners prove they could cover the costs of removing rigs once they have stopped producing.Interior Department| Read more

30. Approved construction of the Dakota Access pipeline less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Under the Obama administration, the Army Corps of Engineers had said it would explore alternative routes.Executive Order; Army| Read more

31. Revoked an Obama-era executive order designed to preserve ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters in favor of a policy focused on energy production and economic growth.Executive Order| Read more

32. Changed how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission considers the indirect effects of greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews of pipelines.Federal Energy Regulatory Commission| Read more

33. Permitted the use of seismic air guns for gas and oil exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. The practice, which can kill marine life and disrupt fisheries, was blocked under the Obama administration.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration| Read more

34. Lifted ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Congress; Interior Department| Read more

35. Loosened offshore drilling safety regulations implemented by the Obama administration following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, including reduced testing requirements for blowout prevention systems. Interior Department| Read more

  

In process

36. Proposed opening most of America’s coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling, but delayed the plan after a federal judge ruled that Mr. Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era ban on drilling in the Arctic Ocean was unlawlful.Interior Department| Read more

37. Lifted an Obama-era freeze on new coal leases on public lands. But, in April 2019, a judge ruled that the Interior Department could not begin selling new leases without completing an environmental review. A month later, the agency published a draft assessment that concluded restarting federal coal leasing would have little environmental impact.Executive Order; Interior Department| Read more

38. Repealed an Obama-era rule governing  royalties for oil, gas and coal leases on federal lands, which replaced a 1980s rule that critics said allowed companies to underpay the federal government. A federal judge struck down the Trump administration’s repeal. The Interior Department is reviewing the decision.Interior Department| Read more

39. Proposed revising regulations on offshore oil and gas exploration by floating vessels in the Arctic that were developed after a 2013 accident. The Interior Department previously said it was “considering full rescission or revision of this rule.”Executive Order; Interior Department| Read more

40. Proposed “streamlining” the approval process for drilling for oil and gas in national forests.Agriculture Department; Interior Department| Read more

41. Recommended shrinking three marine protected areas, or opening them to commercial fishing.Executive Order; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration| Read more

42. Proposed opening land in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve for oil and leasing. The Obama administration had designated the reserve as a conservation area.Interior Department| Read more

43. Proposed lifting a Clinton-era policy that banned logging and road construction in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.Interior Department| Read more

44. Approved the Keystone XL pipeline rejected by President Barack Obama, but a federal judge blocked the project from going forward without an adequate environmental review process. Mr. Trump later attempted to side-step the ruling by issuing a presidential permit, but the project remains tied up in court.Executive Order; State Department| Read more

    

Infrastructure and planning

    

Completed

45. Revoked Obama-era flood standards for federal infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges. The standards required the government to account for sea-level rise and other climate change effects.Executive Order| Read more

46. Relaxed the environmental review process for federal infrastructure projects.Executive Order| Read more

47. Revoked a directive for federal agencies to minimize impacts on water, wildlife, land and other natural resources when approving development projects.Executive Order| Read more

48. Revoked an Obama executive order promoting  “climate resilience” in the northern Bering Sea region of Alaska, which withdrew local waters from oil and gas leasing and established a tribal advisory council to consult on local environmental issues.Executive Order| Read more

49. Reversed an update to the Bureau of Land Management’s public land use planning process.Congress| Read more

50. Withdrew an Obama-era order to consider climate change in managing natural resources in national parks.National Park Service| Read more

51. Restricted most Interior Department environmental studies to one year in length and a maximum of 150 pages, citing a need to reduce paperwork.Interior Department| Read more

52. Withdrew a number of Obama-era Interior Department climate change and conservation policies that the agency said could “burden the development or utilization of domestically produced energy resources.”Interior Department| Read more

53. Eliminated the use of an Obama-era planning system designed to minimize harm from oil and gas activity on sensitive landscapes, such as national parks.Interior Department| Read more

54. Eased the environmental review processes for small wireless infrastructure projects with the goal of expanding 5G wireless networks.Federal Communications Commission| Read more

55. Withdrew Obama-era policies designed to maintain or, ideally improve, natural resources affected by federal projects.Interior Department| Read more

  

In process

56. Proposed plans to streamline the environmental review process for Forest Service projects.Agriculture Department| Read more

    

Animals

    

Completed

57. Changed the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, making it more difficult to protect wildlife from long-term threats posed by climate change.Interior Department| Read more

58. Overturned a ban on the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands. Interior Department| Read more

59. Overturned a ban on the hunting of predators in Alaskan wildlife refuges.Congress| Read more

60. Amended fishing regulations for a number of species to allow for longer seasons and higher catch rates. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration| Read more

61. Withdrew proposed limits on the number of endangered marine mammals and sea turtles that can be unintentionally killed or injured with sword-fishing nets by people who fish on the West Coast. (In 2018, California issued a state rule prohibiting the use of the nets the rule was intending to regulate.)National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration| Read more

62. Rolled back a roughly 40-year-old interpretation of a policy aimed at protecting migratory birds, potentially running afoul of treaties with Canada and Mexico.Interior Department| Read more

63. Overturned a ban on using parts of migratory birds in handicrafts made by Alaskan Natives.Interior Department| Read more

  

In process

64. Opened nine million acres of Western land to oil and gas drilling by weakening habitat protections for the sage grouse, an imperiled bird with an elaborate mating dance. An Idaho District Court injunction blocked the measure.Interior Department| Read more

65. Proposed ending an Obama-era rule that barred using bait to lure and kill grizzly bears, among other sport hunting practices that many people consider extreme, on some public lands in Alaska.National Park Service; Interior Department| Read more

66. Proposed relaxing environmental protections for salmon and smelt in California’s Central Valley in order to free up water for farmers.Executive Order; Interior Department| Read more

    

Toxic substances and safety

    

Completed

67. Rejected a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.  (A European Union ban is to take effect in 2020.)E.P.A.| Read more

68. Narrowed the scope of a 2016 law mandating safety assessments for potentially toxic chemicals like dry-cleaning solvents. The E.P.A. said it would  focus on direct exposure and exclude indirect exposure such as from air or water contamination. In November, a court of appeals ruled the agency must widen its scope to consider full exposure risks. E.P.A.| Read more

69. Reversed an Obama-era rule that required braking system upgrades for “high hazard” trains hauling flammable liquids, like oil and ethanol.Transportation Department| Read more

70. Removed copper filter cake, an electronics manufacturing byproduct comprised of heavy metals, from the “hazardous waste” list.E.P.A.| Read more

71. Ended an Occupational Safety and Health Administration program to  reduce risks of workers developing the lung disease silicosis.Labor Department| Read more

  

In process

72. Proposed changing safety rules to allow for rail transport of liquefied natural gas, which is highly flammable.Transportation Department| Read more

73. Rolled back most of the requirements of a 2017 rule aimed at improving safety at sites that use hazardous chemicals that was instituted after a chemical plant exploded in Texas.E.P.A.| Read more

74. Announced a review of an Obama-era rule lowering coal dust limits in mines. The head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration said there were no immediate plans to change the dust limit but has extended an public comment period until 2022.Labor Department| Read more

    

Water pollution

    

Completed

75. Scaled back pollution protections for certain tributaries and wetlands that were regulated under the Clean Water Act by the Obama administration.E.P.A.; Army| Read more

76. Revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams.Congress| Read more

77. Withdrew a proposed rule aimed at reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.E.P.A.| Read more

78. Withdrew a proposed rule requiring  groundwater protections for certain uranium mines.E.P.A.| Read more

  

In process

79. Proposed a rule exempting certain types of power plants from parts of an E.P.A. rule limiting toxic discharge from power plants into public waterways.E.P.A.| Read more

80. Proposed allowing the E.P.A. to issue permits for federal projects under the Clean Water Act over state objections if they don't meet local water quality goals, including for pipelines and other fossil fuel facilities. Executive Order; E.P.A.| Read more

81. Proposed extending the lifespan of unlined coal ash holding areas, which can spill their contents because they lack a protective underlay.E.P.A.| Read more

82. Proposed a regulation limiting the scope of an Obama-era rule under which companies had to prove that large deposits of recycled coal ash would not harm the environment.E.P.A.| Read more

83. Proposed a new rule allowing the federal government to issue permits for coal ash waste in Indian Country and some states without review if the disposal site is in compliance with federal regulations. E.P.A.| Read more

84. Proposed doubling the time allowed to  remove lead pipes from water systems with high levels of lead.E.P.A.| Read more

    

Other

    

Completed

85. Repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have nearly doubled the number of light bulbs subject to energy-efficiency standards starting in January 2020. The E.P.A. also blocked the next phase of efficiency standards for general-purpose bulbs already subject to regulation.Energy Department| Read more

86. Allowed  coastal replenishment projects to use sand from protected beaches.Interior Department| Read more

87. Limited funding environmental and community development projects through corporate settlements of federal lawsuits.Justice Department| Read more

88. Announced intent to stop payments to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations program to help poorer countries reduce carbon emissions.Executive Order| Read more

89. Reversed restrictions on the sale of plastic water bottles in national parks desgined to cut down on litter, despite a Park Service report that the effort worked.Interior Department| Read more

  

In process

90. Ordered a review of water efficiency standards in bathroom fixtures, including toilets.E.P.A.| Read more

91. Proposed limiting the studies used by the E.P.A. for rulemaking to only those that make data publicly available. (Scientists widely criticized the proposal, who said it would effectively block the agency from considering landmark research that relies on confidential health data.)E.P.A.| Read more

92. Proposed changes to the way cost-benefit analyses are conducted under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other environmental statutes.E.P.A.| Read more

93. Proposed withdrawing efficiency standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters designed to reduce energy use.Energy Department| Read more

94. Created a product category that would allow some  dishwashers to be exempt from energy efficiency standards.Energy Department| Read more

95. Initially withdrew then delayed a proposed rule that would inform car owners about fuel-efficient replacement tires. (The Transportation Department has scheduled a new rulemaking notice for 2020.)

The Daily Caller has more to say:

President Donald Trump nixed nearly 100 environmental regulations during his first three years in office, effectively rolling back much of his Democratic predecessor’s environmental legacy.

 

The president rolled back more than 90 environmental rules and regulations, The New York Times reported in December. The NYT relied on an analysis from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources to keep tabs on Trump’s numbers during his time in office.

 

The NYT’s list includes regulations that are officially reversed and rollbacks still in progress.

 

Trump has fully eliminated 25 rules designed to rein in air pollution and emissions, as well as 19 that regulate energy producers’ ability to drill and extract oil and gas. Trump uses a “one-two punch,” according to Caitlin McCoy, a fellow at Harvard Law School who tracks such measures.

 

“First a delay rule to buy some time, and then a final substantive rule,” McCoy told The NYT.


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