Regulatory Tracker

Department of the Interior Regulatory Reform Initiatives

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Why it Matters

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has made an unusually broad request for public input on which rules it should target for rollback. It remains unclear how many rules DOI will act to rewrite or reverse, but the request suggests that any rule is open to review, including those that protect public lands and the public’s right to fair return on mineral development.

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History/Trump Era

On February 24, 2017 President Trump issued Executive Order 13777, ordering “the head of each agency… to oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives…,” which include identifying regulations that, among other criteria,  eliminate jobs, are “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective,” or have greater cost than benefit.

On June 22, 2017 DOI published a request for comment on its regulatory reform agenda. Interior seeks input on rules the public believe “eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation,” interfere with reform, rely on non-public data, or “derive from” rescinded Executive Orders and Presidential directives.

The notice described three disapproved Interior rules, and discussed Secretarial Order No. 3349, which proposes rescinding BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule and reviewing the methane rule as well as rules from the Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service on Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights.

Regarding offshore operations, it highlights the regulatory reforms targeted for review by EO 13795, including the Well Control Rule, Offshore Air Quality Rule, and Exploratory Arctic Drilling Rule.