48 environmental rules the White House is working to undo

NYC smog
via Neal Boenzi/Wikimedia Commons. A photo of the 1966 New York City smog as seen from the Empire State Building on November 24, 1966.

In the latest installment of 'A Death by 1000 Cuts,' a New York TImes analysis lists the Earth-loving rules that Washington is seeking to reverse.

TreeHugger generally stays away from politics; focusing on the green rather than the red, white, and blue. There are political analysts and journalists who can take care of that while we focus on matters of sustainability. But sometimes the two overlap in a way that makes it impossible to ignore. (And strangely enough, those "sometimes" have been occurring more frequently since January 2017.)

This is one of those times. Well actually, it's an ongoing story, but when The New York TImes puts it all together so succinctly, it feels like an event in and of itself.

Reporters Nadja Popovich and Livia Albeck-Ripka have compiled a list of environmental rules that the Trump administration has sought to reverse. It is stunning and exceedingly disconcerting. They write:

"Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration – with help from Republicans in Congress – has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change." Here's their summary:

24 rules that have been overturned

1. Flood building standards
2. Ban on chlorpyrifos, a potentially harmful pesticide
3. Freeze on new coal leases on public lands
4. Methane reporting requirement
5. Anti-dumping rule for coal companies
6. Decision on Keystone XL pipeline
7. Decision on Dakota Access pipeline
8. Third-party settlement funds
9. Offshore drilling ban in the Atlantic and Arctic
10. Ban on seismic air gun testing in the Atlantic
11. Northern Bering Sea climate resilience plan
12. Royalty regulations for oil, gas and coal
13. Inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews
14. Permit-issuing process for new infrastructure projects
15. Green Climate Fund contributions
16. Mining restrictions in Bristol Bay, Alaska
17. Grizzly bear listing as endangered species
18. Hunting ban on wolves and grizzly bears in Alaska
19. Protection of whales and sea turtles
20. Reusable water bottles rule for national parks
21. National parks climate order
22. Calculation for “social cost” of carbon
23. Planning rule for public lands
24. Copper filter cake listing as hazardous waste

17 rollbacks that are in progress

1. Clean Power Plan
2. Paris climate agreement
3. Wetland and tributary protections
4. Car and truck fuel-efficiency standards
5. Status of 10 national monuments
6. Status of 12 marine areas
7. Limits on toxic discharge from power plants
8. Coal ash discharge regulations
9. Emissions standards for new, modified and reconstructed power plants
10. Emissions rules for power plant start-up and shutdown
11. Sage grouse habitat protections
12. Fracking regulations on public lands
13. Oil rig safety regulations
14. Regulations for offshore oil and gas exploration by floating vessels
15. Exploratory drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge
16. Hunting method regulations in Alaska
17. Emissions standards for trailers and glider kits

7 rollbacks that are in limbo

1. Methane emission limits at new oil and gas wells
2. Limits on landfill emissions
3. Mercury emission limits for power plants
4. Hazardous chemical facility regulations
5. Groundwater protections for uranium mines
6. Efficiency standards for federal buildings
7. Rule helping consumers buy fuel-efficient tires

5 rules reinstated after legal challenges

On the brighter-ish side, at least five other rules have been reinstated after legal challenges. Environmental groups have sued the administration over a number of rollbacks, in these cases, they've been successful.

1. Reinstated rule limiting methane emissions on public lands
2. Reinstated a requirement for reporting emissions on federal highways
3. Delayed by one year a compliance deadline for new ozone pollution standards
4. Delayed publishing efficiency standards for household appliances
5. Reinstated rule limiting the discharge of mercury by dental offices into municipal sewers

It may come as little surprise that the Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in one-third of the policy reversals listed here, given that E.P.A. head Scott Pruitt has "met almost daily with industry executives and lobbyists," notes The Times, adding: "As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mr. Pruitt sued the agency he now oversees more than a dozen times to try to block Obama-era rules."

To read more about the details on each of the policies listed above as well as who lobbied to get the regulations changed, you can go right to The Times: 48 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump. We'll be here, figuring out how green mixes with red, white, and blue.

Tags: Environmental Justice | Environmental Policy | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Causes | Nature

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows