Deregulation Trends in the Wake of “In-One-Two-Out” Policy

December 18, 2018

On January 30, 2017, the day President Donald Trump took office, one of his first measures was to sign in Executive Order 13771.1 This executive order became known as the “In-One-Two-Out” policy whereby for every new regulation adopted, two regulations should be cut so as to not increase the incremental costs of new regulations.  It has been almost two years since this executive order was signed and there are two significant trends already showing.

 

 

  1. The total number of regulations has decreased

Figure 1 below shows the total number of pages in the federal register by year.2 In 2017, there was a significant reduction of 35% in the total number of pages in the Federal Register. The last time there was fewer pages of regulations was in 1993, 25 years ago.

Figure 1

[1] “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. E.O. 13771 of Jan 30, 2017

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/02/03/2017-02451/reducing-regulation-and-controlling-regulatory-costs.

[1] “Reg Stats | Regulatory Studies Center | The George Washington University”. Regulatorystudies.Columbian.Gwu.Edu, 2018, https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/reg-stats. Accessed 30 Oct 2018.

  1. The rate of new significant regulations has substantially slowed

Not only has the total number of regulations decreased, but also the rate at which new regulations being published has dramatically decreased. Figures 2 and 3 show a step decline in significant new regulations, where “significant regulatory action” means any regulatory action that may have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.3,4 This trend equates to an 81% reduction in new significant regulations between 2016 and 2017.

Key Take-Aways

The data over the past year and a half shows that the pace of regulations has slowed, which promotes a stable regulatory climate (i.e. not a lot of new projected regulations). This reduced regulatory expansion period may lead companies to consider:

  • New projects or expansions
  • Debottlenecking projects
  • Asset Acquisitions or Divestitures
  • Other various permit modifications or amendments

If your company is in a capitol deployment mode and needs additional support in regards to environmental permitting and/or plans for your projects, be it manpower or technical expertise, PPM Consultants can assist in your environmental needs.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Further Amendment to Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review.” E.O. 13442 of January 18, 2007 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2007/01/23/07-293/further-amendment-to-executive-order-12866-on-regulatory-planning-and-review.

 

Contributed by Brandon Bass, P.E., Project Engineer