News Releases

    Rutledge Urges EPA Task Force to Rollback Job-Killing Regulations

    May 19, 2017

    Says, ‘The EPA has a unique and important opportunity right now to evaluate its regulatory programs’

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request for public comment on what regulations should be considered appropriate for change.

    The coalition of eight attorneys general are providing a specific list of federal regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified after President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order in February directing federal agencies to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force. This task force will evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency regarding their repeal, replacement or modification.

    “The EPA has a unique and important opportunity right now to evaluate its regulatory programs and identify what is working and not working,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “More importantly, it is a chance for the EPA to return its focus to the rule of law as it develops rules and regulations. With Administrator Pruitt, attorneys general have a welcoming and working partner at the table, and I have a duty on behalf of Arkansans to provide a list of regulations that should be rolled back.”

    The letter highlights the EPA’s need to review a number of Obama-era regulations, streamline the process for allowing states to administer their own water permitting programs and revise regulations to improve the way individual states implement federal rules.

    “During the Obama administration, we experienced first-hand the devastating effects of unlawful executive overreach on jobs and our states’ local energy economies,” the attorneys general write. “We welcome the opportunity to participate in the process of scaling back these unlawful regulations, restoring the rule of law and ultimately returning key decisions about energy production and priorities to the states and their citizens.”

    Rutledge and her colleagues are recommending repeal, replacement or modification of the following Obama era rules: the so-called Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the U.S. rule, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Oil and Gas Methane New Source Performance Standards and the Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule.

    Because the EPA had chosen to ignore the clear intent of the laws passed by Congress and comments submitted in opposition to proposed rules, Rutledge was previously forced to challenge the so-called Clean Power Plan, which included winning a historic and unprecedented stay at the U.S. Supreme Court; Waters of the U.S., which currently has a nationwide stay blocking enforcement; Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze; Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction standard changes for State Implementation Plans; and the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

    Led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Rutledge is joined on the letter by attorneys general from Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

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