Thursday, February 01, 2018
Has Trump Killed More Regulations Than Any Other President?
The story of President Trump's energy policy centers on removing regulations. He says he's good at it—even the best. "We have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history," Trump said in his first State of the Union address (Climatewire, Jan. 31). That's not necessarily true. But in some ways, it's not necessarily false. While Trump took credit for a number of economic gains and claimed victory in bureaucratic battles, officials from prior administrations said the heavy lifting is just beginning. Year one marked the easy, achievable goals. Years two, three and four are about making them stick. "If the claim is that he slowed the pace of new regulations, yes, I think that's something that is true. But I do think the hard work is ahead for actually changing, modifying or eliminating existing regulations," said Susan Dudley, who ran the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President George W. Bush. "I think this administration has been more focused on removing regulations than any president except possibly for [Ronald] Reagan. So whether they're effective at that still takes time." Trump is often hyperbolic. On energy, that trait manifests itself when he declares major policy squabbles squelched before they're truly done. Simply put: There's a long, legal process for undoing a regulation, let alone issuing a new one. Rather, Trump has mostly halted regulations, dashed those that were left unfinished by President Obama and reversed executive orders. Energy and environmental agencies have been the administration's prime targets for regulatory removal, according to the regulatory agenda filed this fall. The Interior and Agriculture departments saw the third-most deregulatory actions—43—in Trump's first year, followed by U.S. EPA at 41, according to a study by George Washington University's Regulatory Studies Center, which Dudley leads. The Transportation Department topped the list at 83—which includes some provisions to streamline environmental reviews—followed by the Department of Health and Human Services with 54...more