A message from the Executive Director:
The Regulatory Reform Agenda
I can’t believe that as I write this, it is already the end of August. Something about this summer, and nearly everyone I’ve raised this with has agreed, has fl own by in a manner in which I’ve never experienced. Normally, I’d be grumpy about not having fished a single time this summer, and having so few hours on my boat, but the reason behind it is one about which I cannot possibly complain.
Back up to February. On the 24th of that month, President Trump issued Executive Order No. 13777, a Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. The Order cited a mission to “lower regulatory burdens on the American people by implementing and enforcing regulatory reform” and declared a policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.
The Order directed each government agency to assign a Regulatory Reform Officer to conduct implementation of regulatory reform initiatives via a regulatory task force.
My favorite part of the order Is as follows:
“Each Regulatory Reform Task Force shall evaluate existing regulations…and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law. At a minimum, each Regulatory Reform Task Force shall attempt to identify regulations that:
(i) eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
(ii) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
(iii) impose costs that exceed benefits;
(iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
(v) are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note), or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or
(vi) derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.” Now obviously, Alaska’s miners fall under all six categories of the regulations requiring identification. Back to my point about being busy: the Administration has walked the talk and convened comment periods requesting private business sector feedback on multiple agencies – with fervor!
First, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a 30-day turnaround on all regulations comments, and we broadened AMA’s participation outside of our Federal Oversight Committee to submit an eight page letter detailing EPA regulations requiring review and revision. Then the Department of Interior agencies (BLM, Office of Surface Mining, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, etc.) issued a comment period, which is still underway, with an additional comment period by BLM requesting very specific comments on the land planning regulations and policy. U.S. Forest Service has a comment period underway, as does the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. So, as you can tell, AMA and its members are up to our eyeballs in comment formation – but we are not complaining!
It’s exciting and rewarding to be able to participate in a comment process in which comments include productive suggestions for improvement to the regulatory system, rather than having to defend our operations against attacks that make regulations completely unworkable.
We’ll continue to do this, and share our comments with you as they are submitted. Happy Fall!