The Obama administration is cramming like a college student trying to study for a final exam, publishing more than 1,200 new regulations in the last 15 days alone, according to data from Regulations.gov.
Energy and environment rules are the biggest category, with 139 published by the federal government in the last 15 days, according to Regulations.gov.
One of the most contentious new regulations is the EPA’s coal ash rule. The rule has been criticized by the coal industry and environmental groups — though for entirely different reasons — and has a price tag of up to $20.3 billion. The rule was finalized last Friday.
Before that, the Obama administration finalized a new ozone standard that could become the costliest rule ever proposed by the EPA. The EPA released the rule while millions of Americans were getting ready to eat some turkey and pie for Thanksgiving.
Regulations listed on Regulations.gov include “Notices from the Federal Register; Proposed Rules; Final Rules.” The government website shows that 309 rules were proposed or finalized in the last 15 days and 892 notices from the federal register were received — some of which could lead to new rulemakings.
So far this year, the Obama administration has proposed or finalized more than $200 billion in regulations when the coal ash rule’s costs are factored in, according to the American Action Forum.
But that’s not all, the Obama administration will be unleashing a slew of new regulations in 2015 aimed at hydraulic fracturing, energy production on federal lands, methane from oil and gas drilling and carbon dioxide from power plants.
Environmental groups criticized President Obama in the past for not going far enough to fight global warming and promote green energy. But activists may quiet down in 2015 when the administration finalizes a slew of new energy regulations that will cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars.
The energy experts at ClearView Energy Partners have a list of some new regulations for next year that include “the fracking rule for federal lands due to be finalized by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM)… BLM’s rule governing flaring from oil and gas wells on federal lands… an advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding federal royalty rates for federal onshore oil and gas leases… EPA’s proposal of effluent limitation guidelines (ELGs) for pre-treatment of oil and gas wastewater; and further details regarding the Administration’s Methane Strategy.”
The EPA is also set to finalize new power plant regulations in 2015 that limit carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing electric generating units.
First the agency must finalize carbon emissions limits for new power plants. Its proposed rule has already come under intense criticism from utilities, coal country and federal lawmakers because it essentially mandates that coal plants use carbon capture and storage technology — an unproven technology.
The EPA will then finalize rules for existing power plants, which requires states to submit plans to the agency on how they will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. This rule has already been subject to legal challenges by states and the coal industry.