REGULATIONS & DEREGULATIONS

 

The list below highlights some of the many policies enacted under the Biden administration and those overturned.

REGULATIONS

Requiring pipeline industry to curb methane leaks

06/07/21  
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration notified the pipeline industry that they're legally required to fix leaks of methane, a potent greenhous gas, in their pipelines and pipeline facilities under the Protecting our Infrastructure…

Expanding offshore wind power off California’s coast

By Joshua Partlow   05/25/21  
Biden officials from the Interior and Defense departments reached an agreement with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to identify two areas for potential offshore wind development in the Pacific Ocean. If fully developed, they could…

Establishing new Energy Star standards for heat pumps and investing in innovation

By Tik Root   05/17/21  
Biden officials announced the government will develop new Energy Star ratings for electric heat pumps and invest $10 million in research and deployment of heat pump technology...

Accelerating transmission on the U.S. electricity grid

04/27/21  
Biden officials took steps to speed transmission on the electricity grid, including issuing a new Transportation Department guidance that allows the use of existing highway rights of way for siting transmission lines and new Energy…

Cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030

By Brady Dennis, Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson   04/22/21  
President Biden pledged the U.S. would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50 and 52 percent, compared to 2005 levels, by the end of the decade...

Launching Interior Department climate change task force

04/15/21  
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on April 16, 2021 signed Secretarial Order 3399, establishing a climate task force and instructing the department to prioritize environmental justice concerns, tribal rights and scientific transparency in decisions through the…

A Return to Science: Evidence-Based Estimates of the Benefits of Reducing Climate Pollution

02/26/21  
President Biden issued a Memorandum directing Federal agencies to make decisions guided by the best available science and data. Today, we are taking an important early step in bringing evidence-based principles back into the process…

Streamlining U.S. Army Corps permits

09/28/21  
Streamlined Army Corps of Engineers permitting for pipelines and other projects. 

Launching review of significant Interior Department decisions

01/20/21  
In Secretarial Order 3395, Biden officials subjected all major Interior Department decisions, including awarding new permits, to approval by a senior political appointee. 

DEREGULATIONS

Scaling back federal protections for waterways

By Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennis   08/31/21  
A federal judge in Arizona threw out a Trump-era rule that scaled back federal protections for streams, wetlands and other waterways.

Setting CO2 standards for cars and SUVs.

By Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin   07/27/21  
The Biden administration has proposed tightening fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for the nation’s cars, pickup trucks and SUVs that were weakened by Trump, to reach an average of roughly 52 miles per gallon…

Biden administration to curb toxic wastewater from coal plants with new rule

By Dino Grandoni   07/26/21  
Weakening the power plant wastewater rule. EPA announced it would develop stricter limits on dumping toxic waste from power plants into waterways. But in the meantime, it would leave a Trump-era rule finalized in 2020…

Lifting methane limits for oil and gas operations

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis   06/25/21  
Biden signed a Congressional Review Act resolution, which passed both chambers, restoring a 2016 rule requiring oil and gas companies detect methane leaks and repair then...
EPA

Withdrawal of Trump-era guidance on certain uses of “forever chemicals”

06/10/21  
EPA withdrew Trump-era guidance that Biden officials say “weakened” the agency’s ability to oversee certain uses of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS...

Revoking EPA scientific ‘transparency’ rule

By Juliet Eilperin   02/01/21  
The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that formalized the decision by a Montana federal judge vacating a Trump-era rule restricting EPA's use of scientific studies in crafting public health rules...

Landfill emissions guidelines

05/17/21  
Trump stalled a rule to limit landfill methane emissions. Biden restored it soon after a federal court ruling throwing out the Trump action...

Weakening exploratory Arctic drilling rule

By Associated Press   05/08/21  
The Biden administration withdrew a proposed rule weakening standards governing oil and gas exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean. As a result, the Obama-era rule adopted in 2016 remains in effect...
EPA

Phasing out certain HFC uses

04/23/21  
The EPA finalized a list of more climate-friendly refrigerants that could substitute for hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases...

Revoking Trump Interior secretarial orders

04/16/21  
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on April 16, 2021 signed Secretarial Order 3398, which reversed 12 secretarial orders issued under President Trump promoting fossil fuel development on public lands and waters...

Setting priorities for the Outer Continental Shelf

04/09/21  
Biden officials issued a new solicitor's opinion on April 9, 2021 to override M-Opinion 37059, which prioritized offshore energy uses above other activities, including fishing...

Accelerating energy permitting

01/20/21  
President Biden reversed a Trump-era executive order instructing agencies to speed up the development of energy projects such as pipelines.

Blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline

By Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson   01/20/21  
President Biden rescinded the 2017 cross-permit Trump granted for the Keystone XL pipeline.

BIDEN SUED: Recalculating the social cost of carbon

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis   01/20/21  
The Biden administration reestablished the panel that formulates the social cost of carbon, an estimate for the damage caused by climate change for federal cost-benefit analyses. As an interim measure, it placed the figure at…

Promoting “America First” offshore energy strategy

01/20/21  
President Biden rescinded Donald Trump’s reversal of an Obama executive order promoting climate resilience in the northern Bering Sea. 

Expediting infrastructure projects during pandemic

01/20/21  
President Biden revoked Donald Trump’s instruction to agencies that they expedite infrastructure projects during the pandemic.

Restoring federal flood protection standards

By Darryl Fears and Steven Mufson   01/20/21  
President Biden restored federal flood standards Trump revoked in 2017. 

Promoting climate resilience through an executive order

01/20/21  
President Biden restored a 2013 executive order on preparing for climate change impacts by issuing Executive Order 13990.

Repealing the Clean Power Plan

By Steven Mufson   01/19/21  
The D.C. Circuit vacated a Trump rule relaxing Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions limits on power plants.

The list below highlights 14 of the many dozens of Trump administration rollbacks which were enacted during the years 2017-2020.

EPA

Coal Ash Rule, Finalized

07/29/20  
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Action:DocketNo.:Residuals from Electric Utilities; A Holistic Approach to Closure Part A: Deadline to Initiate Closure

Keystone XL Pipeline, Presidential Permit

03/29/19  
By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, I hereby grant permission, subject to the conditions herein set forth, to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (hereinafter referred to…

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat

08/05/20  
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”), propose to add a definition of “habitat” to our regulations that implement…

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States”

04/21/20  
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army are publishing a final rule defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is the second…

Repeal of the Clean Power Plan; Emission Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing Electric Utility Generating Units; Revisions to Emission Guidelines Implementing Regulations

07/08/19  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing three separate and distinct rulemakings. First, the EPA is repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) because the Agency has determined that the CPP exceeded the EPA's statutory…
EPA

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, In Litigation

04/09/20  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action establishing a subcategory of certain existing electric utility steam generating units (EGUs) firing eastern bituminous coal refuse (EBCR) for acid gas hazardous air pollutant (HAP)…

Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program

09/12/19  
The United States (US) Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Alaska State Office, has prepared this environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as…

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – Oil and Gas Development, In Litigation

09/01/19  
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program (Leasing EIS). The Final EIS addresses potential impacts associated with the BLM's…

Dakota Access Pipeline, In Litigation

03/25/20  
The Court returns once more to the segment of the Dakota Access Pipeline running under the Missouri River and to its effects on the Indian Tribes living nearby. In February 2017, Defendant U.S. Army Corps…

Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy

05/03/17  
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., and in order…

BLM Land Use Planning 2.0, Repealed

12/12/16  
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is amending its regulations that establish the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The final…

Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Procedures for Evaluating Statutory Factors for Use in New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards

08/19/20  
The Department of Energy is amending its decision-making process for selecting energy conservation standards by specifying that it will conduct a comparative analysis of the relative benefits and burdens of potential energy conservation standard levels…