shutterstock 396961897On January 20, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order to freeze new or pending regulations until the new administration has had a chance to review and approve them. The executive order instructs all federal agencies and departments to not send any new regulation to the Federal Register until all pending rules are reviewed by the President’s appointed department or agency head. Also, federal agencies and departments are directed to withdraw those regulations that have been sent to the Federal Register, but have not yet been published. In addition, the executive order directs that regulations that have been published, but have not taken effect, are to be postponed for 60 days to allow for review by the new administration. The President’s executive order applies to the UDSA’s Rural Utilities Service, Department of Energy and other federal departments.

The executive order allows the head of the Office of Management and Budget to make exceptions for “emergency situations or other urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, financial, or national security matters.” Agencies must identify any regulations that fall under these special circumstances, or that they believe should not be delayed for other reasons.

On January 27, 2016, the Acting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman issued a statement concerning the regulatory freeze. Acting Chairman LaFleur stated that she, as an appointee of the new President, has reviewed the currently pending FERC rules and has cleared them for publication in the Federal Register.

The memorandum from President Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, explaining this executive order can be found here.

For more information, please contact Bob Weinberg, Jeff Genzer, Thomas Rudebusch, Michael Postar, Peter Scanlon, or Lisa Gast.