Yet Another Trump-Era Environment-Related Regulation Rescinded by the Biden Administration
The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), under the Biden Administration, rescinded yet another Trump-era environmental regulation on May 14, 2021. This time, the Biden Administration took aim at the EPA’s rule promulgated under the Trump Administration entitled, “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process” (“Rule”), which prescribed procedural requirements relating to the EPA’s promulgation of certain regulations under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). Specifically, the Rule required the EPA to prepare a benefit-cost analysis for all significant proposed and final regulations under the CAA; codified specific practices for developing the benefit-cost analyses; required the presentation of the benefit-cost analysis in the preamble of rulemakings; and required the EPA to consider the benefit-cost analysis when promulgating the regulation.
The EPA rescinded the Rule pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order 13990 (Jan. 20, 2021), which specifically required the EPA to immediately review and consider suspending, revising, or rescinding the Rule. The EPA offered the following reasons for rescinding the Rule: 1) the EPA previously failed to provide a rational basis to support the Rule or explain why the Rule was needed or reasonable; 2) the Rule was not necessary because the EPA already prepares a benefic-cost analysis for CAA rules that warrant such an analysis; 3) the Rule limited the EPA’s ability to rely on the best available science when conducting benefit-cost analyses; 4) the Rule’s presentational requirements invited net benefit calculations in regulatory preambles that are misleading and inconsistent with economic best practices; 5) the Rule did not reconcile its consideration requirement with the mandates of the CAA; and 6) the pre-existing administrative process provides for ample consistency and transparency.
A copy of the EPA’s published announcement regarding the rescission of the rule can can be accessed here.