January 15, 2015

2015 Oil and Gas Regulatory Outlook

From: The National Law Review

Article By: Kenneth S. Komoroski, Timothy P. Lynch, John D. McGrane, Ted B. Bosquez, IV, Daniel Carmeli

The U.S. government recently announced plans for a number of regulatory initiatives in 2015 that will affect the oil and gas industry.

Planned Federal Regulations Target the Oil and Gas Industry

Twice per year, the U.S. government lists its regulatory plans. At the end of 2014, it announced its plans for the following regulatory initiatives affecting the oil and gas industry.

Regulatory Area Federal Agency Status
 1 VOC and Methane Emission Regulations Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Prerulemaking

January 14, 2015

EPA Delays Rule to Limit Carbon Emissions from New Power Plants

From: Center for Effective Government

by Katie Weatherford

UPDATE (1/8/2015): The White House has announced that EPA will not meet today’s deadline for issuing a final rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. Instead, the agency will not finalize the rule until mid-summer, skirting a statutory deadline that requires EPA to finalize the rule within one year of its proposal. On a press call Jan. 7, EPA officials told reporters it plans to finalize the rule at the same time it completes its related rules limiting carbon emissions from existing and modified power plants.

January 9, 2015

Proposed [Electronic Health Record] regulations for Stage 3 could relax rules

From: HealthcareDIVE


Dive Brief:

  • The White House has received the soon-to-be proposed rules for the third stage of the Meaningful Use EHR incentive program, according to the Office of Management and Budget website.
  • The Stage 3 rules the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs​​ is reviewing should relax the all-or-nothing tone of the Stage 2 rules, which have proven to be particularly difficult for small medical practices to meet. The proposed Stage 3 guidelines would also make changes to the reporting period, timelines and structure of the program.

Read Complete Article

January 8, 2015

NGOs sue US EPA over regulation of nanosilver

Editor’s Note: Although regulating regulators is not is a great way to make friends, it is “essential to presidents being able to achieve their goals;” the NGO lawsuit is a badge of honor for OIRA’s career civil servants. 

From: ChemicalWatch

Agency asked to remove unregulated products from shelves 

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit, pressuring the US EPA to regulate nanosilver as a new antimicrobial pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (Fifra).


January 6, 2015

Meat safety labels delayed to 2018

From: Agri-Pulse

By Philip Brasher

Special safety labels won’t be required for mechanically tenderized meat until at least 2018 after the Obama administration failed to finalize the regulation in time for it to take effect earlier.


However, the meat industry strongly opposes the labeling requirement and USDA officials did not send the final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review until Nov. 21. The regulation remains pending at OMB. Under FSIS labeling regulations, the labeling rule could have taken effect as soon as 2016 only if it had been cleared by OMB and approved by USDA by Dec. 31.

January 5, 2015

Time, Money and Teacher Prep

From: Inside Higher Ed

By Michael Stratford

WASHINGTON — Several dozen higher education groups said Friday that the U.S. Department of Education was lowballing an estimate of how much its proposal to tighten regulation of teacher preparation programs would cost colleges and states.

The American Council on Education and other groups urged the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to take a second look at the estimates and use a third party to verify their validity.

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January 2, 2015

Net neutrality to dominate D.C.’s tech agenda

Editor’s Note: The FCC’s net neutrality actions will be subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Data Quality Act. See here.

From: Politico

The FCC will soon issue a new set of Open Internet rules, and Republicans in Congress are already making plans to push back.


For the White House, a major win on net neutrality might come at a cost — scuttling everything else on Washington’s tech and telecom agenda next year.

December 31, 2014

Oil and Gas Regulatory Push Coming from Obama Administration

From: The Waall Street Journal

Methane Emissions, Fracking, Arctic Drilling, Rail Tanker Cars All Would Be Subject to New Rules

By Amy Harder

The Obama administration is planning to release in the coming months a series of regulations on the oil and natural gas industry, a response to the nation’s energy boom that also is aimed at burnishing President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy in his final two years.

The coming rules—at least nine in total—would include the first-ever federal standards addressing methane emissions, stricter controls on hydraulic fracturing, drilling requirements in the Arctic, new rules governing oil shipped by trains and tougher standards on offshore drilling technology.

December 29, 2014

Industry Proposes A ‘Micro Drone’ Rule As Regulatory Deadline Looms

From: Forbes

Today, the UAS America Fund, LLC announced their formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a proposed regulation to govern all commercial operations for extremely lightweight drones operated at low altitudes.  The petition — which is supported by a scientific study using FAA data — lays out a segmented approach to regulating different categories of UAS.  The scientific study was conducted by a former NASA engineer who served as a member of the orbital debris analysis team for the space shuttle Columbia accident investigation.


December 19, 2014

EPA on Reviewing Vehicle-Emission Standards

From: Genesco Republic/Blog

By Ernesta Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has assembled representatives of small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to provide advice for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. This panel will focus on the agency’s proposed extension of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards beyond model year 2018.