Rush to regulate: Obama steps on the gas with costly rules
The Obama administration is introducing a last-minute barrage of costly environmental regulation pronouncements that Republicans have vowed to repeal as soon as possible after Donald Trump’s January 20 presidential inauguration.
The recent outpouring adds to the administration’s dubious record of producing more than 600 major regulations — those estimated to cost more than $100 million each — during its tenure, according to a study by the American Action Forum, a Washington-based think tank.
Case in point: an announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the administration’s most energetic rule-makers, on Wednesday that after lengthy study, it would push ahead with tougher greenhouse gas emission standards, equivalent to 54.1 miles per gallon fuel efficiency, for passenger cars and light trucks for the years 2022-2025.
EPA says the standards will prevent emission of some 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the vehicles’ life span. Technically speaking, EPA’s administrator has until April 18, 2017, to make a so-called “final determination” about the rules — but is doing it sooner, the agency says, for reasons of “long-term regulatory certainty and stability.”
Translation: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is certain to be out of the job by then, and the ruling will likely hit a brick wall in a much more climate-skeptical Trump administration.