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This week, the Mine Safety and Health Administration notified industry stakeholders and key members of Congress that it will once again pause efforts to implement its new workplace examinations final rule, pending further policy review by the new administration.

This week’s announced “pause” is yet another twist in the roller-coaster roll-out of the rule (see our recent alert for more about the rule). MSHA completed the rule in the final days of the Obama Administration, but the rule did not appear in the Federal Register until several days into the Trump Administration. As a result, Continue Reading MSHA Pauses Workplace Examination Implementation

Flag_of_CaliforniaCalifornia’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the consumer products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Under recent changes to the law, companies in the oilfield business and gasoline service business will need to make warning signs more specific in order to Continue Reading Changes to California’s Prop 65 Warning Requirements to Impact Energy Industry

gravel pit with an industrial gravel sorter machinery with beautiful sunburst color effectThe United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued a proposed rule on December 1, 2016 requiring hardrock mines to provide financial assurance demonstrating they are able to fund the costs associated with the future cleanup of the mines under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the federal statute designed to address releases of hazardous substances and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites nationwide. The new regulations, if finalized by the stated deadline of December 1, 2017, would add an additional
Continue Reading New Financial Responsibility Requirements on the Horizon for the Hardrock Mining Industry

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Robert Horn
Adam Sachs
Adam Sachs

During his confirmation hearing to become Secretary of Energy, former Texas Governor Rick Perry sensibly walked back his 2011 recommendation that the Department of Energy (DOE) be eliminated. After a few weeks on the job, it is now apparent that the secretary not only thinks the DOE should continue to exist but recognizes it’s an essential element of our national security.

President Trump’s inaugural address called for an “America First Energy Plan.”  Although admittedly short on details, the Trump plan seems to Continue Reading Around the Horn: Perry, Policy & Politics

No RegulationsAs we reported in a previous blog post, President Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” to all federal executive departments and agencies implementing a regulatory freeze on new and pending regulations.  This post provides some further information and insight into the freeze and the specific impacts it has had and will have on final and proposed environmental, health, safety, and pipeline regulations.

Technically speaking, the directive is not an executive order and does not have the effect of law.  Thus, federal agencies are left with considerable discretion regarding how to implement it.  The directive was issued with the intent of Continue Reading Trump Administration’s Regulatory Freeze Impacts Environmental, Health, Safety, and Pipeline Regulations

Horn_Robert
Bob Horn
Adam Sachs
Adam Sachs

I’m Adam Sachs, a partner in Husch Blackwell’s energy practice and a registered DC lobbyist. I will be joined in these semi-regular blog posts by my colleague and longtime Washington lawyer, Bob Horn.  Bob served in the Ford administration, ran Detroit Edison’s federal affairs operations, co-founded the Republican National Lawyers Association, and most recently served as a member of the Trump transition team.  I have extensive Capitol Hill experience, having served in senior policy and legal positions since the mid-1980’s.  My most recent Hill gig was serving as committee counsel to now assistant Democratic leader James Clyburn of South Carolina. Continue Reading Around the Horn: Trump DOE/EPA Nominations and Energy Policy Initiatives

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Acting FERC Chairman, Cheryl A. LaFleur

The abrupt resignation and departure (effective February 3, 2017) of former FERC Chairman Norman Bay will leave the Commission without the minimum 3-commissioner quorum needed for the Commission to act. Regulated entities can expect a flurry of activity at the Commission this week, while Commissioner Bay is still voting. As a former FERC Chairman, I believe Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, a Democrat, will do her best to conduct the agency’s business after Bay’s departure, but there are limits to what she and remaining Commissioner, Collette Honorable, can do.

The first order of business will be to Continue Reading FERC Acting Chairman LaFleur Expected to Try and Minimize FERC’s Quorum Problem

No RegulationsOn January 20, 2017, President Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies implementing a “regulatory freeze” on new regulations. The memorandum requires departments and agencies to: Continue Reading Regulatory Freeze May Have Broad and Unintended Consequences

Trans-Alaska PipelineOn January 23, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) amended its pipeline safety regulations to address the requirements of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011. The final rule affects post-accident reporting obligations, safety training requirements, and permitting procedures. The major provisions of the new pipeline safety rule include Continue Reading PHMSA Updates Pipeline Safety Regulations

White House, U.S.In a Presidential Memorandum issued January 24, 2017, President Trump directed the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan within 180 days to require that pipelines in the United States use materials and equipment produced in the United States “to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.” The plan will extend to newly constructed pipelines as well as to those that are “retrofitted, repaired and expanded . . . inside the borders of the United States.”

A full review of the memorandum is available on The Contractor’s Perspective, a blog produced by Husch Blackwell’s government contracts practice group.