OMB Releases Guidance on Energy Independence Executive Order

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has released a guidance document describing how agencies should implement President Trump’s Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (March 28, 2017). The guidance focuses on implementation of Section 2, which requires agencies to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources, and to develop recommendations on how to alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy production.

The guidance describes how agencies should go about implementing this directive. It contains instructions for developing a plan to review regulations (which agencies must submit to OMB by May 12, 2017) as well as instructions for preparing and submitting a final report with the recommendations called for by the Executive Order.

The guidance also specifies that the agency actions that must be reviewed in accordance with Section 2 should include any actions that materially:

(1) Affect the design and/or location of domestic energy production;

(2) Affect the design and/or location of drilling or mining of energy production resources; and

(3) Limit the use of certain sources of energy, such that the development of domestically produced energy resources from a certain sector may be negatively affected.

Agencies are not required to review agency actions that meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Mandated by law;

(2) Necessary for the public interest; and

(3) Consistent with the policy set forth in Section 1 of the Executive Order ( “to promote clean and safe development of our Nation’s vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation”).

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