BizVoice -- January / February 2018

24 BizVoice/Indiana Chamber – January/February 2018 Environment and Energy An EPA regulation setting limits on the carbon dioxide emissions from newly built coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, based on the amount of electricity they produce. Impact: Dramatic increase in energy prices for business and residential consumers with minimal improvement in air quality. The latest: The EPA is currently in the process of reviewing the New Source Performance Standard for coal- and natural gas-fired electric generating units. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a measure to repeal this regulation in early October 2017. Clean Power Plan, which mandates a cut in the entire power sector’s emissions. Impact: Dramatic increase in energy prices for business and residential consumers with minimal improvement in air quality. The latest: President Trump signed an executive order to repeal the Clean Power Plan; in October 2017, Pruitt formally proposed a new rule to dismantle the program. EPA ozone regulation issuing new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) (effective Oct. 24, 2016). Impact: Under an increasingly tighter and more costly ozone standard, businesses and industries may be forced to relocate out of nonattainment areas or relocate overseas to countries with less strict environmental regulations simply because they cannot afford to operate under such extreme conditions in the U.S. The latest: The Trump administration sought to delay this regulation from going into effect; however, lawsuits filed by nearly 20 state attorneys general led EPA to withdraw the delay. The rule went into effect October 1, 2017. EPA is currently investigating ways to ease implementation of the standard and provide flexibility for state and local governments that must develop plans to meet the new ozone requirements. New definition of Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)/Clean Water Act that gives the EPA greater jurisdiction – aka makes small waterways like wetlands and ponds subject to federal rule. Impact: Erodes a state’s ability to define jurisdiction within its bounds. Also, the case-by-case determination creates significant uncertainty for the regulated community. The latest: In June 2017, the Trump administration announced the move to rescind WOTUS. Fracking rule from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management designed to make it more difficult to conduct hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of oil or gas (fossil fuel). Impact: Risks significant increase in natural gas prices and progress with energy independence (fracking led to the major price drops seen in the last decade). The latest: The fracking rule is slated to take effect pending an appeals court decision (expected by the end of 2017). Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management is reportedly working on issuing a rescission plan to formally repeal the rule. Army Corps of Engineers block of the final portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (93% already complete), which “A majority of these policies originally had circumvented Congress and amounted to attacks on business, industry and, ultimately, the workforce.” At the start of 2017, the Indiana Chamber sought input from its members on what were the most onerous items that fell into this category. The organization subsequently submitted a list to Vice President Mike Pence and the Indiana congressional delegation that included more than 15 policies for repeal consideration. “We are pleased that most of the areas identified have seen positive steps taken to rectify the harm that was being done or stop a detrimental initiative from going into effect,” Brinegar adds. “We will continue to push for more progress throughout 2018.” Below is the full Indiana Chamber list of “repeal” requests and any action taken by the President, a federal agency or the courts as of mid-December: PROGRESS QUIETLY ADDING UP IN D.C. REGULATORY RAMIFICATIONS “Some of the most important actions this past year in Washington have occurred outside of Congress – through reversing course on federal rules, regulations and executive orders that were affecting the bottom line for businesses and hampering expansion and job growth,” declares Kevin Brinegar, Indiana Chamber President and CEO. 2018 Legislative Preview