On January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump asked the heads of
executive departments and agencies temporarily to refrain from
sending regulations to the Office of the Federal Register
("OFR"), withdraw regulations that have been sent to the
OFR but have not yet published in the Federal Register,
and postpone certain regulations that have been published in the
Federal Register but have not taken effect. In addition,
on January 30, 2017, President Trump ordered executive departments
and agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be
repealed for every new regulation proposed for notice and comment
or otherwise promulgated ("January 30 Executive Order").
In a guidance memorandum released February 2, 2017, the Office of
Management and Budget ("OMB") clarified, among other
things, that the January 30 Executive Order does not apply to
independent agencies such as FERC.
In a Presidential Memorandum issued January 20, 2017, President
Trump asked the heads of executive departments and agencies, absent
certain emergency situations, to (1) refrain from sending
regulations to the OFR until a department or agency head appointed
by President Trump has reviewed and approved the regulation; (2)
withdraw regulations that have been sent to the OFR but have not
yet been published in the Federal Register until a
department or agency head appointed by President Trump has reviewed
and approved the regulation; and (3) temporarily postpone for 60
days the effective date of regulations that have been published in
the Federal Register but have not taken effect and that
raise substantial questions of law or policy.
On January 27, 2017, FERC issued a release on the Presidential
Memorandum, stating that Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, who has
been appointed Chairman by President Trump, has reviewed new or
pending regulations and "now will send to the Federal
Register previously voted Commission items that need to be
published there." FERC also announced that previously set
comment deadlines will remain unchanged.
In addition, on January 30, 2017, President Trump issued the
January 30 Executive Order requiring an executive department or
agency to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed
for every new regulation proposed for notice and comment or
otherwise promulgated. The January 30 Executive Order directs the
heads of all agencies to ensure that the total incremental cost of
all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be
finalized in fiscal year 2017 is no greater than zero. On February
2, 2017, the OMB released a memorandum providing interim guidance
for implementing the January 30 Executive Order. Notably, the
memorandum clarified that the January 30 Executive Order (1) does
not apply to independent agencies such as FERC; (2) applies only to
significant regulatory actions that have an annual effect on the
economy of at least $100 million or result in other material
effects as defined in Executive Order 12,866; and (3) applies only
to significant regulatory actions issued between noon on January 20
and September 30, 2017.
On a different note, on January 30, 2017, FERC clarified
physical access rules for visitors to its headquarters at 888 First
St., N.E. in Washington, D.C. Specifically, FERC stated that, in
accordance with the REAL ID Act in 2005 ("REAL ID"),
visitors seeking access to FERC and other federal facilities must
present proper identification issued by REAL ID-compliant states or
a state that has received an extension. Accordingly, FERC stated
that it will not accept driver's licenses and state IDs from
Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, and Washington. Instead, FERC
advised that it will only accept Transportation Security
Administration-approved forms of identification, including REAL
ID-compliant state driver's licenses and IDs and United States
The Presidential Memorandum is available here. FERC's release on the Presidential
Memorandum is available here. The January 30 Executive Order is
available here. A copy of the OMB's memorandum is
available here. A copy of FERC's statement on
visitor access is available here.
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