While some see a potential sea change in the US regulatory
landscape, many of the US requirements are substantively
redundant with what is required or mandated by other nations’
regulatory regimes. As companies become more global, their
advisers must become more global as well, to properly advise
on requirements and potential liabilities from jurisdiction to
The push to US deregulation
Since President Donald Trump and his administration took
office, the White House and Republicans in control of the
House and the Senate have used the Congressional Review
Act (CRA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 801-808 (2006), to block 14 out of
the 15 “midnight” regulations promulgated by the Obama
Administration, and the global effects are yet unknown. 1
However, for at least three of the regulations which impact
companies and the way they conduct business, the repeals
are largely symbolic. The CRA has received a lot of attention
in the first few months of Trump’s presidency because of its
widespread use in the White House initiative to roll back
regulations. Prior to 2017, the CRA had only been used once. 2
Repealing other regulations will likely take more time and
effort from Congress, and may not be as effective.
1 Only the Bureau of Land Management rule targeting methane emissions survived the use of the
Congressional Review Act with a vote of 49-51 in the United States Senate.
2 In 2001, under George W. Bush, Congress rolled back an OSHA rule on ergonomics promulgated
in the twilight of the Clinton administration via the Congressional Review Act.
A sea of change:
The Congressional Review Act and energy regulation
By David Baay, Mark Howarth, Louise Howarth, Catherine Manning and Robert Lemus
Energy and mining companies should maintain particular vigilance in monitoring applicable changes within
the US regulatory scheme, while remaining cognizant of the interplay between US rules and international
regulatory regimes. The Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have focused on
campaign promises to roll back regulations and reduce government oversight. Congress and the
administration have targeted many regulations, and to date, 15 have been reviewed and 14 repealed.