While President Donald Trump struggles to push through health care reform, his administration has successfully withdrawn hundreds of Obama-era regulations, according to the latest federal regulatory agenda.
The White House Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) “Unified Agenda” now lists “deregulatory actions” taken by federal agencies. So far, the Trump administration has withdraw 469 regulations proposed in the Obama administration’s final regulatory agenda in 2016.
On top of that, federal agencies delayed 282 regulations going through the rule making process and halted rulemaking for another 109 regulations. OMB also reports a 50 percent drop in “economically significant” regulations — rules costing $100 million or more.
“Government is using muscles it hasn’t used in a really long time, exposing and removing redundant and unnecessary regulation,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement.
Trump signed an executive order in January, ordering federal agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new regulation they pass. Left-wing environmental groups quickly challenged the order, but Trump’s been busy implementing policies to cut back on federal rules.
The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported Trump has so far exceeded his goal of repealing two regulations for every new one written. The administration has repealed regulations at a ratio of 16 to one.
Federal agencies have created task forces to identify regulations ripe for repeal, and Trump himself continued to sign executive orders and legislation to rollback regulations.
Trump has paid special attention to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Interior Department, both of which have seen rules repealed outright or put under review.
Most recently, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt notified state governors in June he would delay for a year the agency’s 2015 rule for ozone pollution.
Pruitt said there’s “insufficient information” to fully implement the 2015 rule on its current timeline, but environmentalists interpreted it as the first step to repealing the standard.
The administration has also taken aim at restrictions on offshore drilling put in place by the Obama administration. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently announced his agency would rewrite the previous administration’s five-year drilling plan.
Zinke also said Trump would open up Arctic Ocean waters to drilling President Barack Obama himself ordered be “permanently” made off-limits to energy development.