May 09, 2018

Administration Tracker

From the earliest moments of the new Trump administration, the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) has been tracking the fast-paced legislative, regulatory and judicial developments occurring under the new administration. Welcome to our Administration Tracker Resources Page, where we are making every effort to provide you with timely information about these historic and quickly-evolving events. We intend to provide you with the most current and sophisticated analyses about these complicated issues facing the United States and the world. Please bookmark this page and visit it regularly for the latest information and analysis.

Administration Update

  • Congressional Hearings
    • H.R. 2910.  Bill would streamline permitting for pipelines. Passed the House on 7/19/17.
    • H.R. 2883. Bill would give FERC, not State Dept., permitting authority for cross-border pipelines.  Passed the House on 7/19/17.
    • The House passed H.R. 806 by a vote of 229-199, which would delay the ozone NAAQS standard by 5 years until 2026. (7/18/2017)
    • S. 1447. Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2017. Approved by Senate EPW on 7/12/17.
    • ESA hearings. Hearings were held on several ESA bills:  H.R. 717, H.R. 2603, H.R. 3131, H.R. 1274, and H.R. 424. (7/19/17)
    • S. 1460 Senator Murkowski’s energy bill is ready for a floor vote, 350 groups sent  a letter to Senate Leadership in opposition to the bill. (7/10/17)
    • S. 822 Brownfields bill Committee Markup Hearing rescheduled for 7/12/17
    • Hearing on obstacles to obtaining oil and gas drilling permits on federal lands (6/29/17)
    • House voted, 256-165, on the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, H.R. 953, which would exempt pesticides applicators from CWA permitting
    • Senate EPW subcommittee hearing on the Ozone Standards Implementation Act (S. 263) (5/23/17) – would extend the deadline for SIPs until 2026
    • Senate EPW subcommittee hearing on the ORDEAL Act (S. 452) on NAAQ standards (5/23/17) – would delay enforcement of the 2015 standards until 2025
    • House Oversight & Government Reform subcommittee hearing on Sue and Settle Agreements (5/24/17)
      • U.S Chamber of Commerce Report
    • Senate EPW, Need to Modernize the ESA (5/10/17)
    • The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a full hearing entitled “A Review of the Technical, Scientific, and Legal Basis of the WOTUS Rule”. An archived video of the hearing is available. (4/26/17)
    • The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on a proposed bill entitled the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017. (4/26/17)
    • The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, “Revitalizing American Communities through the Brownfields Program” (3/28/17)
    • Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Held a Hearing on S. 518, a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide for technical assistance for small treatment works, S. 692, the “Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act of 2017” and S. 675, the “Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act"
    • House Energy and commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment to hold a discussion hearing on Brownfields Reauthorization on 4/4/17.
    • HONEST Act (HR 1430) – House vote likely soon on bill that would require all EPA regulatory actions to be based on publicly reproducible science (3/27/17)
    • House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Hearing on Brownfields Program (3/27/17)
    • Environmental Barriers to Infrastructure Development (3/1/17) (House Subcommittee on Interior, Energy and Environment)
    • Modernization of the Endangered Species Act, Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (2/15/17)
    • Infrastructure and Brownfields Hearing
  • Executive Orders and other Administrative Actions
    • Under Executive Order  Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure, CEQ would develop a government-wide action plan to speed environmental permitting reviews of infrastructure projects in order to complete environmental reviews within a 2 year period (8/15/18)
      • Among other things, the EO revoked an Obama-era Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, EO 13690, that required federally- funded projects to withstand stronger storms.  Generally, such projects needed to be built to the 500 year flood plain requirements.
    • Washington Post article re Executive Orders largely an illusion of action (4/29/17)
    • New York Times article re Remaking the Presidency (4/30/17)
    • President issues EO 13792 directing Interior to review Monuments Designations since 1996 under the Antiquities Act, including Bears Ear (4/26/17) (82 Fed. Reg. 20429) (5/1/17)
    • President issues EO on Offshore Energy Strategy (4/28/17)
    • E.O. 13777 Establishing Regulatory Reform Task Groups in the Agencies (2/24/17)
      • White House released its Unified Agenda, recommending the deletion or revision of 860 Obama era regulations.  (7/20/17)
      • Said the CPP exceeded the Administration’s authority under the CAA
      • Said it planned to issue a replacement to the WOTUS rule by December 2017
      • Interior’s Methane Rule is being reviewed (5/11/17)
      • Trump Administration is looking at over 130 regulations for reform or repeal (5/3/17)
      • Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies from OMB Director Mick Mulvaney re Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce [Link] (4/12/17)
        • Agency Reform Plan is due by 6/30/17
        • Long term plan to reduce size of Federal workforce
        • Lifts Federal hiring freeze (but some agencies, such as EPA, have largely left the freeze in place)
      • EPA announces plans to initiate an early out/buy out program to achieve workforce reductions. [Link] (4/20/17).
      • Memo from Scott Pruitt to Acting Deputy Administrator et al re EPA’s Regulatory Reform Task Group (3/24/17), to be led by Samantha Dravis, Senior Counsel and Associate Administrator for Policy, and Ryan Jackson, Chief of Staff.
      • EPA announced that it is accepting public comments on existing regulations pursuant to Executive Order 13777 until May 15, 2017 in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190 (4/11/17).
    • E.O. 13783 entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” (3/28/17)
      • Presidential Memorandum, “Regulatory Reform Officers and Regulatory Policy Officers at Executive Departments and Agencies”  (5/8/17)
      • New York Times Article
      • Sets policy directives for the Trump Administration, including the clean and safe development of domestic energy resources (coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewables) and the use of best available peer-reviewed science.
      • Directs the heads of agencies to immediately review all agency actions which potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. Draft reports are due within 120 days, and final reports within 180 days.
      • Rescission of various Obama era regulations and policies, including the Aug. 2016 final CEQ guidance requiring agencies to consider GHG emissions and effects of climate change in NEPA reviews; the Nov. 2015 Presidential Memorandum on “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment”;  E.O. 13653 (Nov. 1, 2013) which directed federal agencies to prepare for the environmental impacts of climate change (and the elimination of portals which provided climate change data); June 2013 Presidential Memorandum which directed EPA to establish carbon pollution standards for power plants no later than June 30, 2016; Presidential Memorandum dated Sept. 2016 directing the federal government to consider the impacts of climate change on national security related policies; June 2013 Climate Action Plan; and March 2014 Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.
      • Directs the head of the EPA to review two final and one proposed regulations related to the Clean Power Plan (CPP).  The CPP is currently subject to a stay by the Supreme Court.  EPA announced its intent to review the CPP on 4/4/17. It also announced its withdrawal of two proposed rules regarding CPP implementation (the Clean Energy Incentive Program and the Federal Implementation Program and Model Trading Rules) on 4/3/17.
      • Directs the withdrawal of documents issued between 2010 and 2016 establishing the “social cost of carbon” for purposes of regulatory impact analysis, and directs a return to the Sept. 2003 OMB Circular A-4.
      • Directs the Secretary of the Interior to take all steps necessary and appropriate to withdraw the moratorium on federal coal leasing.  Secretary Zinke issued Secretarial Order 3348 revoking Jewell’s moratorium Order 3338 on 3/29/17.
      • Directs the head of EPA to review and potentially revise the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas sector, previously issued in final form in June of 2016.  The final rule is currently the subject of litigation, with oral argument scheduled for 4/17.
      • Directs the Secretary of the Interior to review and potentially revise four regulations designed to curb methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  Two of these regulations were finalized in the final two months of the Obama Administration. Secretary Zinke announced on 3/29/17 in Secretarial Order 3349 his intent to review these regulations.
    • President Trump issued an executive order directing his administration to review or eliminate a suite of Obama-era climate and energy policies, including the coal leasing moratorium.  (3/28/17)
    • President signed an EO requiring each federal agency to examine all of its programs to eliminate duplication and waste (3/13/17)
      • Executive Order
    • The Administration announced its intention to reconsider final determination of mid-term evaluation of greenhouse gas emission standards for model year 2022-2025 light duty vehicles (3/15/17)
      • NPR Article
      • California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to maintain strict vehicle standards thru 2025 (3/24/17)
    • The Administration announced its intention to delay the effective date of the Accidental Release Prevention Regulations under section 112(d) of the CAA, which were scheduled to go into effect on 3/21/17, for 90 days (82 Fed. Reg. 13968), and its intent to file an appeal of the final rules in the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (3/14/17)
      • Administrator Pruitt announced on 6/12/17 that the rules would not go into effect until Feb. 19, 2019
    • E.O. re Waters of the United States Rule (2/28/17)
  • Litigation
    • Earthjustice sued EPA in the 9th Circuit, and EDF sued EPA in the 2nd Circuit, over the TSCA framework rules finalized in June (8/11/17).
    •  EPA announced on 8/14/17 its intent to revise portions of the 2015 rule limiting toxic discharges from coal-fired power plants.  One case is pending in the 5th Circuit.
    •  Clean Air Council v. Pruitt, U.S. Ct. of Appeals for DC Circ. – D.C. Circuit reversed a temporary stay of the methane rule (7/3/17). Petition for rehearing en banc was denied. (8/10/17)
    • American Lung Ass’n v. EPA, Case No. 17-1172.
      •  EPA announced that it would not delay deadline for states to meet new ozone air quality standards (8/3/17)
    •  DC Cir. Court decision (2-1) struck down EPA’s efforts to ban hydrofluorocarbons (8/8/17).
      • Majority held that the ban was reasonable for companies that had not yet replaced their ozone-destroying coolants.
      • The rule was remanded to EPA for reconsideration.
    • Center for Biological Diversity v. Interior.  CBD sued Interior for failure to release records relating to national monument review. (8/9/17)
    • NAM v. Dod, No. 16-299.  Oral argument before the US Supreme Court on the jurisdictional issues is scheduled to occur on Oct. 11, 2017.
    • Nat’l Parks Cons. Ass’n v. Pruitt, U.S.D.Ct.-DC, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-01548 - EPA asked a federal court in DC to rewrite a consent decree, giving EPA until Dec. 31, 2018 to accept a Texas state plan on regional haze or to prepare a federal plan. EPA emphasized writing a rule that was more consistent with the CAA’s preference for cooperative federalism. (8/18/17).  Environmental groups have until 8/29/17 to object.
    • Constitution Pipeline Co. v. NYDEC, Case No. 16-1568, 2nd Cir.  (8/18/17) – State acted within its authority to block pipeline approved by FERC.
    • So. Ill. Power Corp. v. EPA, Case No. 16-3398 and 17-1442, 7th Cir.  Issue: whether issues of national applicability must be resolved in the DC Circuit.
    • NAM v. Dod, No. 16-299.  Oral argument before the US Supreme Court on the jurisdictional issues is scheduled to occur on Oct. 11, 2017.
    • Clean Air Council v. Pruitt, U.S. Ct. of Appeals for DC Circ. – D.C. Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling on 7/3/17, struck down EPA’s 90-day stay of the new methane emission standards for oil and gas wells, stating that the stay was “arbitrary, capricious [and] in excess of statutory . . . authority.”
      • Washington Post article (7/4/17)
      • Environmental group had filed an emergency motion for a stay of EPA’s 90-day stay of the methane leak detection and repair rules.  (6/5/17)
      • Court had ordered EPA to respond by 6/15/17, and enviros to respond by 6/20/17
    • Murray Energy v. EPA, Case No. 16-2432, 4th Circuit.  The Fourth Circuit ruled that EPA could not be forced to produce a detailed study of how its regulations were affecting employment in the coal industry under Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act.
    • Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA.  CBD filed suit against EPA in the U.S. D. Ct. for DC, seeking documents and communications regarding development and issuance of E.O. 13778, which had directed EPA and the Army Corps to review and revise the Obama Administration’s Clean Water Rule.  The suit followed EPA’s failure to respond to CBD’s FOIA request seeking copies of documents and communications with states and private parties regarding development of the EO. (6/1/17)
    • Juliana v. U.S., Case No. 6:15-cv-01517, U.S. D. Ct. Or.- Children’s climate change lawsuit has survived motions to dismiss and for direct appeal to 9th Circuit.
    • Air Alliance Houston v. EPA, Case No. 17-1155, D.C. Cir. – Enviros have requested stay of further delay in implementation of Risk Management Program Rule
      • Rule was intended to go into effect on 3/21/17
      • Rule published on 6/14/17 delayed the effective date for 20 months.
    • DOJ Policy prohibiting donations to third party environmental groups as part of federal enforcement settlements  (6/15/17)
    • Seven Democratic AGs sued EPA for its March 29 order failing to delay new safety rules for use of pesticides, including chlorpyrifos (6/5/17)
    • Maryland and the District of Columbia sue the Trump Administration for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution
      • Washington Post article (6/13/17)
    • Northern Plains Resource Council v. Shannon, U.S. D. Ct. for D. Montana, Case No. 4:17-cv-00031-BMM.  State Dept. filed a motion to dismiss challenging plaintiffs’ standing to contest a Presidential permit on the grounds that the action was not reviewable under the APA.  (6/09/17)
    • Dalton Trucking v. EPA, At the request of EPA, the 9th Circuit postponed oral argument scheduled for May 18 on CA diesel engine standards (5/10/17)
    • Pebble Limited Partnership v. EPA, Case No. 3:14-cv-00171.  Court approved settlement between EPA and Pebble Limited Partnership, in which EPA will allow the Company to apply for a CWA permit, thereby removing a roadblock imposed in 2014 (5/12/17)
    • CA v. Zinke,  Four states sued Interior over order lifting moratorium on federal coal leasing (5/9/17)
    • Clean Water Action v. EPA, Civ. Action No. 17-817, U.S.D.Ct. for DC, plaintiffs filed a Complaint  regarding EPA’s decision to stay and reconsider an Obama era rule re effluent limits for discharges of toxic metals from power plants (5/3/17)
    • WOTUS Litigation
    • In Center for Biological Diversity v. Ryan Zinke, the plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of CRA H.J. Res. 69 (the Refuge Rule) by filing a Complaint for Declaratory Relief; they alleged the CRA was a violation of the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
    • In Southwestern Electric Power v. EPA, No. 15-60821, US. Court of Appeals for the 5th Cir., grants a stay of proceedings for 120 days re litigation over regulations governing limits of toxic pollutants from coal plants (4/24/17)
    • Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited v. EPA,  No. 14-1991, 2nd Cir. , Court denies petition to reverse its Jan. 18 ruling re 2008 rule re water transfers (4/18/17)
    • Public Citizen v. Trump, Case No. 1:17-cv-00253, U.S. D. Ct. (DC) – Public interest groups sued the Administration in February to stop its Jan. 30 2-for-1 EO. The EO mandates that two regulations must be struck for each new regulation, and that the costs for any new regulations must be offset by cutting at least two existing regulations. Fourteen states have now asked the court to uphold Trump’s Jan. 30 EO.
      •  Oral argument held before U.S.D.Ct. Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/10/17.
      • Plaintiffs survived a procedural challenge re ripeness when court ordered briefing by 7/21/17 (5/23/17)
    • In  Walter Coke Inc. et al. v. EPA, DC Cir. 15-1166 (SSM SIP call litigation), the EPA asked for a delay in the oral argument currently scheduled for May 8.
    • In American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, D.C. Cir. 13-1108, the EPA filed a motion seeking an indefinite pause on the litigation over the methane regulations on the oil and gas industry while the Administration evaluates altering or nullifying these regulations (4/7/17)
    • California Chamber of Commerce v. State Air Resources Board, No. C075930.  Third Appellate District of Court of Appeal of CA upheld CA’s cap and trade program as not being a “tax”.
    • Murray Energy v. EPA, No. 15-1385 (D.C. Cir.) (litigation over the 2015 ozone NAAQS standard).  EPA asked the court to continue the oral argument, scheduled for 4/19, so that the Agency could determine whether it wanted to reconsider the rule ( 4/7/17).  The public health and environmental petitioners filed an opposition to any delay (4/10/17). The D.C. Circuit granted EPA’s request to hold the oral argument in abeyance (4/11/17) and asked for status reports every 90 days on the Agency’s review of the 2015 Final Rule.
    • Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League v. Pruitt, No. 1:16-cv-00364.  US District Court in DC orders EPA to issue HAPs for 13 sources no later than 20202 (3/22/17)
    • Alliance of Automobile Mnfrs. V. EPA, No. 17-1086 (DC Cir.).  Alliance filed a Petition for Review of EPA’s Final Determination (3/13/17).  CA filed a Motion to Intervene (3/14/17).
    • Wyoming v. Dept. of Interior (US Court of Appeals for the 10th Cir.) (Government filed a motion to continue oral arguments and to hold the case in abeyance pending further Administrative action on a new rulemaking on fracking on public lands; oral argument had been scheduled for 3/22/17 on the 2015 Final Rule; Government stated that the 2015 Final Rule did not reflect policies and priorities of the new Administration) (3/15/17)
      • Oral Argument is scheduled for 7/27/17.  The Unified Agenda suggests that the Administration intends to propose to rescind the fracking rule in July of 2017.
    • Texas v. US (US Court of Appeals for the 5th Cir.) (Texas filed a lawsuit against the US for its inaction on nuclear waste policy decisions, including Yucca mountain)
    • West Virginia v. EPA, DC Cir. 15-1363 (Clean Power Plan litigation):
      • EPA announced in its Unified Agenda that it would propose revoking the CPP on the grounds that the rule exceeded EPA’s statutory authority under Section 111 of the CAA.  (7/20/17)
      • DC Circuit issues order suspending the CPP proceedings for 60 days (4/28/17)
        • The rule would have required 36 states to rewrite their plans to remove provisions giving sources like power plants and refineries a lawsuit shield, or affirmative defense, for excess pollutants emitted during startup, shutdown or malfunction.
      • EPA filed a Reply, saying the Court should not issue an advisory opinion and that holding the litigation in abeyance would conserve judicial resources (4/12/17)
      • EPA requested a halt of the litigation, but NY, CA and several other states and municipalities objected to EPA’s request (4/5/17)
      • Department of Justice files motion to hold the case in abeyance after President Trump issued his executive order setting the agency on a path to repeal the rule.
      • Over six months since the oral argument
      • March 20 deadline for briefs on whether to consolidate with separate lawsuit
      • CRS article, “U.S. Climate Change Regulation and Litigation:  Selected Legal Issues” (4/3/17)
    • NAM v. DoD (S. Ct. review of 6th Cir. Jurisdictional question)
    • NRDC v. EPA, (S.D. N.Y. Feb. 1, 2017) (challenging EPA’s rescission of final rule under CWA reducing mercury discharges from dental offices)
    • American Petroleum Institute v. EPA (D.C. Cir. Feb. 9, 2017) (challenging EPA’s “Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018”)
    • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (US D. Ct. – DC Case No. 1:16-cv-01534.) (Denying Temporary Restraining Order for Dakota Access Pipeline)
      • Army Corps filed reply brief stating remand without vacatur was appropriate.  (8/17/17).
      • Law 360 Article
    • NRDC v. Trump (D.C. Cir. Feb. 8, 2017) (challenging Executive Order on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”)
  • Federal Budget
    • Rules Committee posted a minibus package on 8/16/17 which contained funding for Interior and EPA largely the same as approved by the Appropriations Committee in July (HR 3354) (EPA funding of $7.5 billion, a 6.6% cut; Interior funding of $11.9 billion, a 7% cut)
    • House Appropriations Committee cleared the Interior-EPA budget package for House floor vote. EPA would get $7.5 billion (6.6% reduction).  Interior would get    $11.9 billion (7% reduction). Package would increase funding for Superfund and brownfields programs. (House Appropriation Committee Press Release and Committee Report).
    • President releases proposed 2018 budget, A New Foundation for American Greatness, proposing significant cuts to many agency budgets (5/23/17)
      • President proposes to cut EPA’s budget by 31%, from $8.2 billion to $5.6 billion, and to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (5/23/17)
        • Washington Post article re EPA setting aside money for employee buyouts (5/21/17)
      • President proposes to cut Interior’s budget by 10% (5/23/17)
      • President proposes to cut Army Corps’ budget by 16% (5/23/17)
      • President proposes to cut DOE’s budget by 5.4% (5/23/17)
    • Congress passes Consolidated Appropriations Act, HR. 244, by a vote of 79-18, providing $1.163 Trillion in funds to operate the government through September 30 and leaving EPA funding/staffing largely intact. (5/4/17)
      • Bill was signed into law by President Trump on 5/5/17
    • Omnibus bill for agency funding through Sept. 2017:  Interior and Environment
    • The House of Representatives Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) issued a response to Trump’s proposed EPA budget last month.  See SEEC Leadership Responds to 31 Percent Cut to Environmental Protection Agency in Trump Budget (3/12/17)
    • NY Times Article
    • Washington Post Article
    • Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies from OMB Director Mick Mulvaney re Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce [Link] (4/12/17)
      • Agency Reform Plan is due by 6/30/17
      • Long term plan to reduce size of Federal workforce
      • Lifts Federal hiring freeze (but some agencies, like EPA, have largely left the freeze in place)
    • EPA announces plans to initiate an early out/buy out program to achieve workforce reductions
    • Administration has proposed substantial cuts to FY2017 funding for environmental programs from those previously authorized via continuing resolution, including:
      • Brownfields Project Grants – Reduced by $5 million, from $80 to $75 million
      • EPA Research & Development – Reduction by $48 million, from $483 million to $435 million.  Reduction focused on climate-related research (such as EPA's contribution to USGCRP).
      • Categorical Grants – Reduction by $115 million, from $1.079 billion to $964 million.  This 10% cut is inteded “ease into the transition” towards a 44% reduction in FY2018.
      • Great Lakes Restoration – Reduction of $49 million, from $299 million to $250 million.  Administration indicates that this represents previously high unobligated and unliquidated program balances.
      • Superfund Remedial Account – Reduction of $30 million, from $500 million to $470 million.  Intended to “ease into” more sizable reductions in FY2018.
    • President releases A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again (3/16/17)
      • Letters in support of Energy Star funding (3/21/17)
      • Report by Environmental Protection Network (3/23/17)
      • Proposes $2.6 Billion (31%) cut in EPA budget, to $5.7 Billion, and 20% cut in workforce, including elimination of 50 programs (including Clean Power Plan, Energy Star, Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes initiatives, endocrine disrupters, and environmental justice), and cuts in funding of climate change, Superfund (30%),  Research and Development (50%), grants to states and tribes, and enforcement (25%).
      • Proposes 15.5% cut at Commerce, including all of NOAA’s budget ($250 million) for coastal and marine management, research and education
      • Proposes 12% cut at Department of Interior
      • Proposes 5.6% cut at Department of Energy, including ARPA-E and weatherization assistance
      • Proposes cuts for all UN climate change programs and Global Climate Change initiatives
      • Proposes elimination of all funding for the Legal Services Corporation
  • Supreme Court Nomination(s)
  • Confirmation hearings/status
  • Congressional Review Act and Other Administrative Actions
    • The deadline for any additional CRA resolutions has passed, with a total of four relating to energy/environmental issues passing.
    • HJ Res. 69 (Pub. L. 115-20), 52-47, Senate voted to nullify certain FWS regulations in Alaska regarding hunting in wildlife refuges; sign by the President (4/3/17)
    • H. J. Res.  44 (Pub. L. 115-12), 51-48; Senate voted to repeal Interior’s land use planning 2.0 process (3/7/17); signed by the President (3/27/17)
    • H.J. Res. 41 (Pub. L. 115-4) to disapprove SEC rule re disclosing payments to foreign governments passed the House (2/1/17) and the Senate; signed by the President (2/14/17)
    • H.J. Res. 38 (Pub. L. 115-5), 55-45: Senate voted to repeal the Stream Protection Rule (2/2/17); signed by the President (2/16/17)
    • HJ Res.  36 and SJ Res. 11: Resolution to disapprove Interior’s methane venting and flaring rule.
    • HJ Res. 59 introduced to disapprove the Risk Management Plan rule.
  • Other
    • Pruitt letter to ECOS signaling intent to reconsider 2015 Rule governing discharges of heavy metals and toxics from power plants into rivers and streams [link]  (4/11/17)
    • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke revived an internal advisory committee on energy leasing and royalties (3/29/17)
    • Administration to open an Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner (Washington Post article) (3/26/17)
    • ECOS list of $14.7 billion in “ready to go” water and wastewater projects (3/23/17)
    • White House proposes cutting EPA staff by one-fifth


  • Joint State/Federal Civil Environmental Enforcement Report
  • Letter in Response to EPA Gag Order from Society of Environmental Journalists (1/25/17)
  • Status of Confirmations
    • White House
      • Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives, Dina Powell
      • Economic Advisor, Gary Cohn
      • Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Energy and Environmental Policy, Mike Catanzaro
      • Special Assistant to the President for International Energy and Environmental Policy, George David Banks
    • Supreme Court
      • Neil Gorsuch - Confirmed (4/7/17)
    • OMB/CEQ
      • Director: Mick Mulvaney - Confirmed (2/16/17)
      • Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy and Science, Jim Herz
      • OIRA – Neomi Rao – confirmed by Senate (7/10/17)
    • Environmental Protection Agency
      • Administrator: Scott Pruitt – Confirmed (2/17/17)
      • AA for Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance – Susan Bodine, nominated (5/12/17)
        • Nomination advanced in Senate EPW hearing held 7/12/17
      • Deputy Administrator-Andrew Wheeler to be nominated (7/23/17)
      • Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation – Bill Wehrum to be nominated (7/23/17)
      • Assistant Administrator for Water – David Ross to be nominated (7/23/17)
      • General Counsel – Matt Leopold to be nominated (7/23/17)
      • Region 4 Administrator:  Trey Glenn (director of ADEM, 2005-2009)
    • Department of Justice
      • Attorney General: Jeff Sessions - Confirmed (2/8/17)
      • Deputy Attorney General: Rod J. Rosenstein - Confirmed (4/25/17)
      • Associate Attorney General – Rachel Lee Brand, confirmed
      • Acting AG for ENR:  Jeffrey Wood Clark – Senate Judiciary Committee vote (11-9) on 8/3/17
      • Acting Solicitor General:  Noel J. Francisco
    • Interior
      • Secretary: Ryan Zinke – Confirmed (3/1/17)
      • Deputy Secretary - David Bernhardt confirmed, 53-43  (7/24/17)
      • Acting AA for Land & Minerals – Kate MacGregor
      • Daniel Jorjani and James Cason, leading the task force on cutting regulations
      • Assistant Secretary of policy management and budget – Susan Combs – Confirmed
      • Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs – Doug Domenech – confirmed at Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on 8/3/17 in 13-8 vote
      • Bureau of Reclamation – Brenda Burman – Confirmed by voice vote (8/3/17)
    • Energy
      • Secretary: Rick Perry – Confirmed (3/2/17)
      • Deputy Energy Secretary - Dan Brouillette confirmed in a 79-17 vote  (8/3/17)
      • DOE:  White House announces President’s intent to nominate David Jonas to be general counsel of DOE (5/23/17)
      • Undersecretary of DOE – Mark Wesley Menezes – approved by voice vote (8/3/17)
      • Undersecretary for Science at DOE – Paul Dabbar – approved by voice vote (8/3/17)
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
      • Chairman: Kristine Svinicki – Designated (1/23/17); nomination confirmed on 6/27/17
      • Commissioners Annie Caputo and David Wright, Senator Heller has placed a hold on Caputo’s nomination because of Yucca Mountain (8/3/17).
    • Agriculture
      • Secretary: Sonny Perdue – confirmed 87-11 (4/24/17)
      • USDA’s top scientist – Sam Clovis, nominated
    • FERC
      • Neil Chatterjee confirmed (8/3/17) and selected to become acting Chair
      • Rob Powelson confirmed (8/3/17)
      • Hearings on R. Glick and K. McIntyre scheduled before the Senate Energy Committee on 9/7/17
    • Other
      • Labor:  Alexander Acosta – confirmed  60-38  (4/27/17)
      • FEMA:  Brock Long, nominated as FEMA Administrator
      • SEC: Jay Clayton sworn in (5/4/17)
      • DOD: Secretary, Air Force – Heather Wilson confirmed  (5/8/17)
  • Current Administration Officials
    • White House
      • Interim Communications Director – Hope Hicks
    • Environmental Protection Agency
      • Chief of Staff – Ryan Jackson
      • Deputy Chief of Staff, EPA – Byron Brown
      • Associate Administrator of Policy – Samantha Dravis
      • Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy – Brittany Bolen
      • Acting AA for Land/Emergency Management – Barry Breen
      • Acting AA for OECA - Lawrence Starfield
      • Communications Director - Doug Ericksen
      • Legal Advisor - Justin Schwab
      • Deputy Associate Administrator for Chemical Office - Nancy Beck
      • Deputy Associate Administrator for Public Engagement – Amy Graham
      • Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations - Layne Bangerter
      • Deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs – Aaron Ringel
      • Senior Advisor to the Administrator – Elizabeth “Tate” Bennett
      • Senior Advisor to the Administrator – Ken Wagner
      • Chemical Division – Michael Dourson
      • Senior Deputy General Counsel – Erik Baptist
      • General Counsel’s office – David Fotouhi
      • Deputy Assistant Administrator, OECA – Patrick Traylor
    • Interior
      • Acting Deputy Secretary – James Cason
      • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management – Katharine MacGregor
      • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Aurelia Skipwith
      • Acting BLM Director – Michael Nedd
      • Adviser – Benjamin Keel
      • Special Assistant – Natalie Davis
      • BLM Deputy Commissioner – Alan Mikkelsen
      • Acting Director of Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs – Michael Chambers
      • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSSE) – Scott Angelle
      • Chief of Staff to the Secretary– Scott Hommel
      • White House Liaison – Lori Mashburn
      • Special Assistants to the Secretary – Caroline Boulton and Natalie Davis
      • Communications Director – Laura Rigas
      • Principal Deputy Solicitor, Office of the Solicitor – Daniel Jorjani
      • Advisor, Office of the Solicitor – Joshua Campbell
      • Deputy Director, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs – Micah Chambers
      • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish & Wildlife – Virginia Johnson
      • Special Assistant, National Park Service – Brian Pavlik
      • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy, Management & Budget – Scott Cameron
      • Deputy Director, Office of External Affairs – Timothy Williams
      • Assistant, Office of External Affairs – Jason Funes
      • Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management – Joseph Balask
      • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development at BIA – Don Gavin Clarkson
    • Department of Energy
      • Chief of Staff – Brian McCormack
      • Senior Advisor—Travis Fisher
    • Department of Defense
      • Army
        • General Counsel – Ryan Dean Newman, nominated
    • Department of Justice
    • National Park Service
    • FERC
      • Acting Chair - Cheryl LaFleur
      • Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson formally nominated to be commissioners (5/10/17), confirmation hearings (5/25/17) in Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; nominations advanced on 20-3 vote on 6/6/17
      • Trump announced intent to nominate Rich Glick to be Commissioner to take Commissioner Colette Honorable’s seat (6/28/17)
      • Trump announced intent to nominate Kevin McIntyre to be FERC Chairman (7/13/17)

Background Information

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Our Task Group Team

Task Group Chair 

Amy L. Edwards
Holland & Knight LLP
Washington, DC


Lynn Bergeson
Bergeson & Campbell PC
Washington, DC

Kim Diamond
Berkeley Heights, NJ

Andy Emerson
Holland & Knight LLP
Washington, DC

Emily Fisher
Edison Electric Institute
Washington, DC

Charles L. Franklin
Akin Gump
Washington, DC

Sheila Hollis
Duane Morris LLP
Washington, DC

Peter Keays
Hangley Aronchick Et Al
Philadelphia, PA

Mary Ann Grena Manley
Bloomberg BNA
Arlington, VA

Martha Marrapese
Wiley Rein LLP
Washington, DC

Roger Martella
General Electric
Boston, MA

Saul Mikalonis
Plunkett Cooney
Bloomfield Hills, MI

Ignacia S. Moreno
The iMoreno Group, PLC
Washington, D.C. Metro Area

Lee Paddock
George Washington University Law School
Washington, DC

Mat Todaro
Verrill Dana LLP
Portland, ME

Linda Tsang
Library of Congress/Crs
Washington, DC

Jay A. Tufano
Ring Bender LLLP
Irvine, CA

Joel Visser
Sidley Austin LLP
Washington, DC