a trump energy

A top priority for the Trump administration will be dismantling the regulatory regime left by President Obama. Over the course of his presidency, the Obama administration has issued over 20,000 new rules and regulations that have not only hurt small business, but also cost Americans over $100 billion. Some of the most harmful of these regulations are those imposed upon the energy sector, which have placed thousands of jobs in jeopardy and cost American companies and consumers billions of dollars.

President Trump will have no shortage of burdensome regulations to eliminate, but here are some of the most burdensome energy regulations that his administration should repeal: 

1. Clean Power Plan. The rule mandates a 32 percent cut in the energy sector’s carbon emissions by 2030. Currently, the fate of the rule is being discussed by the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals. If the case is still being argued by the time Trump is sworn in he could ask the Justice Department to dismiss the case. If not, Trump could have the EPA undo the regulation.

2. Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS). The WOTUS rule drastically expands the EPA’s jurisdiction, making small waterways like wetlands and ponds subject to federal rules and permitting processes. This rule is also being held up in the courts. Like the Clean Power Plan, Trump could ask the courts to dismiss the case or order the EPA to dismantle the regulation.

3. Ozone Rule. This rule sets the allowable ozone level in air at 70 parts per billion, down from 75 under the Bush administration. This rule would have economically devastating impacts on local communities deemed to be out of “attainment” by the government. Like the other rules it is also being argued in court and the Trump administration could ask for the case to be dismissed or weaken the existing rule by not enforcing it.

4. Fracking Rule. This rule sets standards for well casing, transparency and wastewater storage for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” on federal land. It was overturned earlier this year by a federal judge, which the Obama administration is currently appealing. The Trump administration could simply drop the appeal in this scenario to undo the regulation.

5. Methane Rule. This rule was finalized recently by the Interior Department and sets new and costly regulations on energy development on federal lands. The rule would not only make recovery of affordable energy more costly, but is unnecessary and redundant as such emissions have steadily dropped in recent years thanks to advances in recovery technology. The Trump administration could also look to reverse this regulation with the help of the Republican controlled House and Senate next year.     

President Obama’s legacy is one of an increasingly burdensome regulatory regime. After 8 years it is apparent that these rules have done nothing but harm Americans and businesses across the country. Fortunately, with a Republican-controlled Congress, President Trump will have no shortage of options or support in repealing many of these regulations.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore