Racing against time to solidify Biden's environmental regulations

In an effort to safeguard pivotal environmental policies, the Biden administration is hastening to finalize key regulations before a legislative deadline that could see them overturned.

Kevin Bogardus reports for E&E News.


In short:

  • Federal agencies are urgently working to finalize environmental and energy policies to prevent potential reversals under the Congressional Review Act.
  • The exact deadline is uncertain, complicating efforts to secure these regulations against future political challenges.
  • Several significant rules are in the pipeline, including standards for greenhouse gas emissions and updates to oil and gas royalties.

Key quote:

“It’s tough for agencies during the Biden administration because they don’t know if this will be the end. They’re rushing, and they could be rushing for a moot point.”

— Susan Dudley, former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Why this matters:

The Congressional Review Act allows Congress, with a simple majority in both the House and Senate, to review and potentially repeal federal regulations during a period that begins in the last 60 legislative days of the 2024 session. Currently, the start date of that window remains uncertain. Biden could veto congressional resolutions to repeal, but if Donald Trump wins the election in November and Republicans achieve a congressional majority, it could set the stage for overturning a multitude of new environmental regulations. The CRA also prevents the executive branch from reissuing a similar rule in the future unless Congress authorizes it through new legislation.

In 2021, Peter Dykstra wrote: Biden takes a run at America's glaring environmental problems. Can he succeed?

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