Beginning with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1983, each newly inaugurated president from a different political party than his predecessor has ordered the withdrawal from the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) of all pending regulations that have not yet been published.  86 Fed. Reg. 7425 (Jan. 28, 2021) (Biden); 82 Fed. Reg. 8346 (Jan. 24, 2017) (Trump); 74 Fed. Reg. 4435 (Jan. 26, 2009) (Obama); 66 Fed. Reg. 7702 (Jan. 24, 2001) (Bush); 58 Fed. Reg. 6074) (Jan. 25, 1993) (Clinton); 46 Fed. Reg. 11,227 (Feb. 16, 1981) (Reagan). The incoming presidents have used this approach to advance their policies as opposed to being constrained by the policies of their predecessors reflected in such “midnight rules.” The D.C. Circuit, in Humane Society v. U.S. Dept. of Agric., No. 20-5291 (D.C. Cir. July 22, 2022), has limited the rules that can be withdrawn under this long-standing approach. 

Continue Reading Humane Society v. U.S. Department of Agriculture: Has the D.C. Circuit Done More Than Protect Midnight Rules?

US EPA Administrator Pruitt signed a notice denying petitions to change the “point of obligation” under the RFS program. EPA stated that its “primary consideration” in reviewing the petitions was whether changing the point of obligation would improve the effectiveness of the RFS program to achieve Congress’s goals. EPA concluded that the petitioners did not meet that standard.
Continue Reading EPA Denies Petitions to Change the RFS “Point of Obligation”

The Administration’s proposed 30 percent reduction to EPA’s operating budget has raised many questions. Will it happen? How would it impact operations? Are all EPA programs equally affected? The final answers will come at the end of a lengthy congressional process, but last week’s hearing provided clues that any final cuts could be significantly less than the Administration’s request. But first, it’s worth a quick review of the federal budget process.
Continue Reading EPA’s Budget: How Low Will It Go?