Jan 22, 2020

Solar Tariffs Harm U.S. Industry

On January 22, 2018 the Trump administration placed $8.5 billion in tariffs on imports of solar modules and cells in an attempt to shield U.S. industry from unfair global competition from China and South Korea. The Solar Energy Industry Association has released a report laying out the estimated economic impact of the tariffs.  According to the report, Chinese solar modular makers have set up factories in Malaysia and Vietnam to avoid the tariffs, so the modular brands entering the U.S. market are much the same as before, but at higher prices.  In addition, an estimated 62,000 jobs were lost or… Read more


Jun 5, 2019

Federal Judge Blocks Obama Administration Wetlands, Waters Rule

Wetlands - WOTUS rule

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled on May 28, 2019, that the Obama administration erred when it crafted the Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) regulation.  The court found that the final version of WOTUS rule deviated too far from a previous draft version which deprived the public of an opportunity to submit public comment on the final rule.  The ruling makes final a preliminary injunction issued last year blocking implementation of the 2015 rule.  The injunction applies to Texas, Lousiana, and Mississippi.  It is unlikely that the procedural error noted by the District Court will… Read more


Aug 8, 2018

Trump Administration Proposes Nationwide Cuts to Vehicle Fuel Efficiency and Emission Standards

Vehicle Emission Standards

On August 2, 2018, the Trump administration proposed significant cuts to vehicle fuel efficiency and emission standards, and challenged the right of states, particularly California, to set more stringent tailpipe pollution standards. The proposed rule is called the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE)” Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026.”  (Click here to read the proposed rule (pre-publication.)) The SAFE Vehicles Rule would lock in Model Year (MY) 2020 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and carbon dioxide emission standards applicable to passenger cars and light trucks manufactured for sale in the U.S. in MYs 2021 through 2026. The pre-publication copy was… Read more


Jun 13, 2018

Will the ACA be Dismantled in Court? Justice Department Declines to Support ACA Provisions

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

President Trump’s administration continues in its mission to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While attempts to repeal the ACA through legislation have not succeeded, the constitutionality of the ACA is again under assault. In an unusual move, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to congressional leaders, telling them that the Justice Department will not defend the constitutionality of certain ACA provisions in the lawsuit filed in the Northern District Court in Texas by 20 State Attorney Generals. The letter stated in part that “The department in the past has declined to defend a statute in cases in which… Read more


Apr 18, 2017

Trump Administration Seeks to Cut Clean Energy Division Budget

Clean Energy: LED Lightbulb

The White House is seeking to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget of an Energy Department division that funds technological research in projects ranging from LED light bulbs to plug-in electric trucks. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, currently funded at $2.1 billion per year, would see its allocation slashed by at least $700 million under a proposal of the Office of Management and Budget. The proposed cuts come as President Trump, who did not support wind and solar power on the campaign trail, seeks to boost defense spending by $54 billion by offsetting the… Read more


Mar 9, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order Regarding Waters of the U.S. Rule

Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule

President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017, issued an Executive Order directing review and revision or rescission of the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States,’” 80 Fed. Reg. 37054 (June 29, 2015).  The Rule defines what “waters of the United States” are under the federal Clean Water Act for permitting purposes.  Numerous states and other organizations had filed lawsuits challenging the Rule issued by the U.S. EPA during the President Obama administration and the Rule is currently stayed pending those legal challenges.  Immediately following the Executive Order, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers provided… Read more


Feb 7, 2017

What A Trump Administration Will Mean For Franchising

handshake

as published in QSR Magazine The election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States certainly promises significant changes for the nation’s businesses. Despite the fact that many of Trump’s policies on labor and employment are still unclear, many laws and regulations promulgated during the Obama administration, including many rulings by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), may be challenged by the new Republican administration going forward in 2017 and beyond. Some of the more controversial rulings by the NLRB in Obama’s last administration have involved issues related to joint employers. In August 2015, The NLRB ruled… Read more


Jan 11, 2017

Possible Change to EPA Toxic Rules for Large Boilers

Boiler

On December 23, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) toxic pollution requirements for large industrial boilers were flawed, siding with arguments made by environmental groups. The decision left the existing rule in place while ordering the EPA to make the necessary corrections in the boiler, Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Boilers, commonly known as Boiler MACT. Industrial groups have expressed optimism that the incoming Trump administration will take the opportunity to revise how the EPA sets toxic pollutant standards across the board. For example, the Trump administration’s EPA… Read more