Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search
Go Green banner ads

Published on Friday, February 10, 2017

Republicans Take On Obama’s Environmental Protection Regulations

[NOT GOOD]

Republicans Take On Obama’s Environmental Protection Regulations

Since Trump announced his candidacy, he has made no secret of both his dislike for President Obama and his determination to change many of Obama’s policies and plans. Unfortunately, Trump and his party are finally in the position to do so. Not only can they enact new legislation, draw up new policies, and put new plans in place, but they can also overturn some of Obama’s previous regulations thanks to the 1996 Congressional Review Act. Things in Washington just got a whole lot scarier, which is hard to believe given the current political climate.


What’s the 1996 Congressional Review Act?

The 1996 Congressional Review Act allows the House and Senate to overturn any recently finalized federal regulation. All they have to do to get an act nullified is receive a majority vote in both the House and the Senate and get the President’s approval. This would be much simpler than the President’s administration attempting to repeal acts by the previous administration.


The Congressional Review Act has only been used once before by President Bush in 2001. Bush used the CRA to rescind an ergonomics regulation set down by President Clinton. Since congress was majority Republican, the vote passed easily. The CRA is generally only applicable in the early days of a new presidency as the current President is likely to want to overturn something the last president did, and not something they do, since the act only applies to recent regulations.


Why Is It So Dangerous?

The CRA is an extremely dangerous act that has the power to wipe out a lot of the Obama administration’s work. The act specifies that only regulations that were recently finalized can be overturned. Unfortunately, “recently finalized” is not a specific timeline. It appears that Congress has the power to stretch back as far as mid-June 2016. That means they have the power to nullify any regulations set forth from the Obama administration in the last 7 months. They could essentially erase any progress made by Obama and the White House as over 50 major regulations are included on the list.


And it gets worse. Not only does the CRA allow Congress to overturn recently finalized laws; it also decrees that once a regulation has been nullified, a regulation that is “substantially the same form” cannot be reissued. As this has never been tested, it’s unclear at the time what this could actually mean. But in theory, Trump’s camp may be able to overturn a regulation and ensure that it never comes back into force, even after his time in the White House.


Which Environmental Regulations Do They Want to Overturn?

The two main CRA targets are environmental regulations on stream protection for coal mining and methane waste. The stream protection rule restricts coal-mining companies from dumping debris into waterways. It also requires the companies to set aside money to restore impacted waterways before developing a new mine site. This rule is central in protecting fragile aqua ecosystems and keeping dangerous materials out of the drinking water supply. Of course, the coal industry feels the rule unjustly stops them from developing mines.


The second regulation concerns methane waste and was a crucial component in Obama’s climate plan. The rule states that oil and gas companies would have to contain methane leaks on federal and tribal lands by capturing the methane instead of allowing it to waft into the air or flare. This rule was part of a greater plan to reduce greenhouse gases, of which methane is one, by 40% by 2025.


What Other Regulations Are They Targeting?

In addition to the environmental regulations above, the administration is also targeting three other regulations with the CRA. The first is the resource extraction rule that requires publicly traded oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments they make to foreign governments. The goal behind this regulation was to increase transparency and deter corruption. Unfortunately, one of the biggest opponents of this act is now Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.


The second act targeted is the blacklisting rule. This rule requires federal contractors to disclose any labor law violations from the last three years before they can receive a contract. However, a federal judge halted this law in October saying it went beyond Congress's authority.


The last regulation targeted is the Social Security gun rule. This regulation was finalized just in December as an effort to increase gun control and keep guns out of the hands of people with mental impairments. The rule states that the Social Security Administration would submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System if recipients of disability insurance met certain mental impairment criteria.


Republicans have both the House and the Senate, along with support from the President. In addition, CRA votes are immune to a Senate filibuster so all the Republicans need to do is keep their majority and they will be able to overturn these five regulations and much more from six months worth of progress.



Rate this article:
No rating
Comments ()Number of views (293)

Author: AThompson

Categories: Blogs, Energy & Power, Animals & Wildlife, Climate & Weather

Tags:

Print

Search Jobs

Calender

«June 2017»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
293031
1654

As Our Oceans Warm, Marine Animals Suffer

The warming of the oceans is causing some catastrophic changes to take place for the marine life that dwells there. Have a look at what's happening and what you can do to stop it. 

Read more
1
1655

The NEW Zoo in Wisconsin Gets a Kick Out of Their Playful Baby Armadillo

Watch this adorable footage of a baby armadillo playing with his favorite pink toy at the Green Bay, WI zoo. A cute video that will warm anyone's heart. 

Read more
2
1656

How Trump’s Budget Will Affect EPA Programs

News of Trump's new budget has hit the public recently and in addition to a slew of budgetary cuts, the EPA is in serious danger of annihilation. 

Read more
34
5
1658

Trump Pulls Out of The Paris Climate Change Agreement

Trump has struck another blow to environmental regulation and consideration by pulling out of the historic Paris Agreement, becoming one of only three countries to do so.

Read more
6
1661

Hamster Successfully Completes First Level of Super Mario Bros

This footage of a hamster completing the first level of Super Mario Bros. is going viral. Watch as he races towards the finish and even goes down a pipe!

Read more
7
1659

New Research Rate of Acceleration for Sea Level Rise

Sea levels have been rising for years but recent research shows that the past decade has seen especially high rates of increase. And it doesn't like things are getting any better...

Read more
8
1662

How Do You Test the Patience of a Basset Hound?

Watch as an energetic baby emu puts the tolerance of a basset hound to the test. With all the energetic ear biting and chirping, it's a wonder he doesn't snap!

Read more
9
1660

Quick Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Saving our planet isn't just in the hands of big name corporations and politicians. In fact, you can help give the effort a push just by following these quick tips. 

Read more
1011
12
1663

What is Tobacco Doing to Our Environment?

We all know about the terrible effects tobacco can have on our health. But what about the health of the environment? Have a look and see the real extent of this damaging plant. 

Read more
13
1666

Fiona the Baby Hippo Explores Her Outdoor Habitat

Internet-famous Fiona the baby hippo keeps her fans in the loop with this new video from Cincinnati Zoo showing her exploring her outdoor enclosure.

Read more
14
1665

Antarctic Peninsula Soon to Change from a Large Crack

The Larsen C ice shelf continues to break away in the Antarctic. But what does this breakaway really mean in terms of sea level rise and climate change?

Read more
15
1667

Black Mamba Snakes Battle it Out on a Golf Course

Watch as a pair of black mambas, one of the world's deadliest snakes, engage in battle on a golf course in South Africa. Amazing footage!

Read more
16
1664

The Carbon Capture Plant

Up until recently, prevention was the primary tactic to combat the buildup of greenhouse gases. Thanks to a new plant in Switzerland though, we can now take CO2 right out of the air!

Read more
1718
19
1668

Maggots at Work to Cut Food Waste

Food waste is a huge problem. Luckily, researchers are coming up with some creative ways to combat and profit from it: by using maggots!

Read more
20
1671

Panda Keeper Struggles to Clean Because of Mischievous Panda Cubs

Panda cubs are some of the cutest animals on the planet. But taking care of them, especially when they're in a group, can be a real pain too!

Read more
21
1669

Artificial Reef in the Mediterranean Made with Rubber Algae

Scientists have joined together to come up with a solution to dwindling coral reef populations caused by warming sea waters. This could be it.

Read more
22
1672

Opossum Super Mom Carries All of Her Babies in One Go

Have a look at this footage of a mother opossum carrying her 10 to 15 babies on her back. A truly amazing mother for sure!

Read more
232425
262728293012
3456789

Category

Categories

    Help Us Go Green
      
    Help Us Go Green