Interior Announces Multi-Billion Dollar Regulatory Relief in FY 2018

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: October 17, 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced its success in reducing the Department's regulatory burden in support of and compliance with President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13771 on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Interior has been a leader in the Trump Administration at cutting bureaucratic red tape. Fiscal Year 2018 regulatory reform actions have resulted in a savings of roughly $2.5 billion in net present value. Since January 2017, Interior has withdrawn more than 150 proposed rulemakings from the regulatory agenda and finalized no less than 19 deregulatory actions in FY2018. These regulatory reforms coupled with historic tax cuts and other factors have grown the economy and helped United States energy production hit historic highs. The Department recently held a record-shattering lease sale on federal lands in New Mexico which generated close to $1 billion- nearly half of which will go directly to the State of New Mexico.

“The Trump Administration is doing exactly what was promised and making smart decisions to reform and reduce the regulatory burden on the American people and economy, and it's producing big results,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “On President Trump’s first day in office, the total United States oil production was 8.8 million barrels of oil per day. Today, we’re the largest oil and gas producer on the face of the planet, producing 11.2 million barrels a day, and we’re on our way to 14 million barrels a day. We're also expediting the permitting process for wind, solar, and hydropower projects and rebuilding aging infrastructure. These results would not be possible under the outdated and expensive regulatory scheme of the past.”

Cost saving deregulatory actions include changes to the Venting and Flaring Rule and the Well Control and Production Safety Systems Rules (PSSR). The Bureau of Land Management rolled back the Obama era Venting and Flaring rule, a change that is estimated to save American taxpayers between $1.4 to $1.6 billion. Critics claim these regulations reduce safety standards, however that is not supported by evidence, as 2018 was the safest year on record for offshore oil and gas. The Department is in the process of finalizing a number of regulatory actions that includes modernizing the Endangered Species Act's use of "critical habitat" designations and strengthening the economic and scientific standards used to list and de-list species, as well as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement revising the Well Control and Production Safety Systems Rules.

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