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Biden Administration Announces More Regulations

The White House this week laid out a broad regulatory agenda that will affect “pipelines, energy efficiency, oil drilling on public lands and other issues,” according to E&E News.

Energy production: “Oil and gas agencies plan to push a handful of regulations across the finish line next year, from a previously proposed rule that would reshape drilling in the western Arctic to stiffer rules limiting venting and flaring of natural gas on public lands.”

Power lines: One of two rules from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “would change how large electric power lines are planned and paid for in an effort to ease delays holding back projects.”

  • “The other lays out a new process for transmission developers to seek permits from FERC if they can’t get approval from state regulators, but only certain projects would qualify.”

Gas stoves: The Energy Department is set to finalize a gas-stove regulation by the end of January and has plans to finalize a transformer-distribution regulation by April.

  • The agency scaled back its original, overly broad gas-stoves rule following pushback from the NAM and other industry advocates.

More coming: “New regulations are also in the works, including a standard judging ‘fitness to operate’ for offshore oil companies that’s expected out next fall. … According to the agenda, the Bureau of Land Management aims to finish a previously proposed overhaul of oil and gas regulations by April.”

  • That proposal would set a new minimum—from the current $10,000 to $150,000, a 1,400% increase—for the sum that insurance companies will be required to secure before drilling a federal lease.
  • “In the Arctic, BLM aims to … raise the bar on what industry must do to drill in parts of the [National Petroleum] Reserve.”

Why it’s important: The flurry of planned regulations—coming on top of what the NAM has already called a regulatory onslaught from federal agencies—would likely further entangle manufacturers in red tape, increasing their costs and reducing their efficiency.

  • “The total cost of complying with federal regulations exceeded $3 trillion in 2022, with manufacturers—particularly small firms—bearing a disproportionate burden, according to a recent NAM study,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray.
  • “The average manufacturer paid $29,100 per employee to comply with federal regulations in 2022, rising to $50,100 for companies with fewer than 50 employees. More importantly, that analysis does not include the rules that are being considered and promulgated this year and next—putting concerns about rulemaking front and center for many manufacturing leaders.”
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