February 16, 2017: Trump’s First Regulation Overhaul, Upcoming EPA Chief Confirmation

It’s been a quiet week in Washington, although the upcoming battle over Scott Pruitt’s confirmation vote looms on Friday or sometime next week, although Senate Democrats are now pushing to delay the vote.

Scott Pruitt’s confirmation coming soon

According to Inside EPA, President Trump is expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Scott Pruitt if he is confirmed by the Senate (it is likely that he will be). After the ceremony, Trump is expected to sign executive orders related to EPA and the environment. While this report is unverified, Trump transition officials warned of executive actions on rolling back Clean Water Act jurisdiction, altering the use of the “social cost of carbon” from agency cost-benefit analyses, and taking steps to phase out Obama’s Clean Power Plan, among other rules. Vox news recently published a comprehensive piece on the possible directions that potential EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration, as well as Congress, could take the EPA. Those interested in American environmental policy should pay close attention to Scott Pruitt’s confirmation on the Senate floor.

 

Trump signs CRA bill to reduce transparency from the oil, gas, and mining industries

Donald Trump signed into law a repeal of a last-minute Obama Administration rule within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The rule was a part of regulating industry after the 2008 financial crisis. The rule required publicly-traded American oil and gas companies to disclose payments they make to foreign governments. Fossil fuel industries are no longer required to disclose those payments. Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration argue that the rule puts American businesses at a disadvantage, and that its repeal is a part of “bringing jobs back”.  This was the very first “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act that President Trump has signed, and his third total piece of legislation. This move perhaps should be interpreted as a signal that rolling back environmental regulation is a priority.

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Author: Jared Sousa

Macalester College '2017, Political Science and Environmental Studies

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