NECA Legislative Top Three 10/11/19: Presidential Proclamations on Energy, Regulations
1. POTUS Recognizes Role of Energy Industry
President Donald Trump, recognizing “the role the energy industry has played in our Nation’s success”, and paying “tribute to America’s energy workforce, which has ushered in a new era of American energy dominance,” has named October 2019 as National Energy Awareness Month.
NECA Look Ahead: The proclamation calls for American leadership on “the energy technologies of tomorrow” including advanced small modular nuclear reactors, transformational coal technologies, more efficient semiconductors for solar cells, and improved battery storage technology. NECA contractors provide solutions and lead the industry in all these aspects of the electrical construction industry.
2. POTUS Signs Executive Orders Posed to Limit Federal Agencies from Issuing New Regulations
President Trump on October 9 signed two executive orders (EOs) designed to limit the ability of federal agencies from issuing new regulations without going through the normal regulatory process. He said that these new rules, Executive Order on Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents and Executive Order on Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication, would hold back “unaccountable bureaucrats” who are imposing their "private agenda” on the American people.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The EOs take aim at agency guidance documents Trump said have been abused to implement new policies while skirting public comment and review. Federal agencies typically issue guidance documents to clarify regulations and provide more in-depth interpretations of how rules should be implemented. Conservative critics of that process have long argued it instead creates an avenue for “stealth regulations” that impose additional burdens to the constituencies they impact. The first EO will require agencies to publish guidance documents online, with anything unpublished automatically rescinded. Agencies will have to solicit public feedback on guidance and face White House oversight. The second order will require agencies to inform individuals of any regulatory case against them, acknowledge any responses from those individuals and educate businesses about any new regulatory impacts.
3. National Labor Relations Board Releases 2019 Statistics
National Labor Relations Board has had nearly 20,000 cases and petitions filed in 2019, an astounding number and a significant increase over the previous years.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Earlier this year, in an attempt to provide better services, the NLRB restructured how it would best prioritize the cases and the order in which it hears them. While this has yielded a substantially faster turn-around time (over 17 percent faster), it has caused alarm with some career employees. The new method, which prioritizes the order in which appeals are filed and not those deemed to be of major significance has been lauded by the NLRB Chairman John Ring who appears to believe that this swifter process is the key to getting people back to work and placing labor disputes behind workers and employers.