The Biden administration’s proposed changes essentially would restore the conditions that existed before the Trump presidency.
They come as Mr. Biden is calling on the oil and gas industry to step up production to relieve high prices at the pump. Energy trade groups said they were concerned the new regulation could block infrastructure they believe is needed to meet demand.
Mr. Revesz said he did not believe the actions by the Biden administration would affect prices at the pump, since the Trump administration’s limits would remain in place until the Biden rule is finalized, most likely next year.
“Keeping the Trump rule in place is not going to keep gas prices low, and removing the Trump rule is not going to raise gas prices,” he said.
Republicans criticized the Biden administration’s plans as adding needless red tape while allowing fossil fuel opponents to create barriers for oil and gas projects.
“It should not take longer to get the permits and permissions for a pipeline than it does to build one,” Karen Harbert, president of the American Gas Association, said in a statement on Wednesday. She said companies were “concerned that the proposed rule will veer from the intent that Congress had when authoring the Clean Water Act and will allow some states to delay and increase costs for essential energy infrastructure.”
Julia Anastasio, executive director of the Association of Clean Water Administrators, which represents water permit administrators in all 50 states, said the rejection of the coal terminal in Washington State and the gas pipeline in New York did not amount to a larger trend.