Last year, the Biden Administration released its Fall Regulatory Agenda laying out its anticipated timeline for introducing rules. This is a make-or-break period of time for the Administration to finalize the hundreds of proposed rules that are currently in limbo and meet their climate commitments.
The Administration is incentivized to release these final rules as soon as possible to avoid being overturned through the archaic Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress to overturn certain agency actions within the past 60 legislative days.
However, just because these rules are released early in the year doesn’t mean they won’t cause a frenzy of controversy. We’re expecting several in the next few months that we anticipate will result in oversight hearings by the Republican-controlled House and lawsuits from conservative interest groups.
Here are a few rules that we anticipate will be released over the next few months:
SEC Climate Disclosure Rule: In 2022, the SEC released a proposed rule that would require publicly traded companies to disclose climate-related risks. A final rule is expected in the next month.
EPA PM 2.5 Rule: The EPA is considering stronger regulations for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). This would impact emissions allowed on a state-by-state basis.
BLM Conservation Rule: This proposed rule would change how the agency manages its land by designating conservation as an official use of public land.
EPA Phase 3 Rule for Heavy-Duty Trucks: EPA will finalize Phase 3 rule for heavy-duty trucks, which would require that GHG emissions be reduced by 29% below 2021 levels in March. The same timeline is intended for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for MY 2027 through 2032.
EPA’s Power Plant Rule: EPA plans to finalize its Power Plant Rule in April. This proposed rule would require coal plants to cut emissions by 90% by 2030 and require natural gas plants to capture 90% of emissions through carbon capture by 2035 or run on hydrogen by 2038.
We expect that this will be a busy quarter across the Administration and that there are opportunities for external stakeholders to engage with the Administration on implementation and Congress on oversight once these rules are released.