The recent federal government shutdown has delayed the EPA’s rewrites of Obama-Era rules, such as carbon standards for existing power plants, which may jeopardize the Trump administration’s ability to defend the rewrites in court before the 2020 presidential election. Andrew Wheeler, the agency’s acting chief told senators during his January 16th confirmation hearing that the federal shutdown paused work on the Trump’s administrations initiatives to rewrite or rollback Obama-Era climate, air, and water regulations. The EPA was in the process of reviewing comments on several major proposals, including its power plan rule and plans to weaken federal fuel economy limits for passenger cars, and is going to be hard pressed to complete the rulemaking process and defend the rules in court prior to the 2020 election cycle. The EPA’s original target for completion of the rule changes was March 2019 which appears highly unlikely given the 33-day delay.
For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.