PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • March 7, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate. Among the requirements of this latest Executive Order are mandates for federal agencies to appoint “Regulatory Reform Officers” and establish “Regulatory Reform Task Forces”. As described in a White House press release, the Executive Order directs each agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force to: “evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification”; and “focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

     

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  • February 9, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. On February 3, the White House issued a memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017…” The memorandum provides agencies with information on how to implement the “Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017” established by the Executive Order.   

    Among the issues addressed, the February 3, memorandum clarifies that the Executive Order applies only to significant rulemakings, and does not require compliance by independent federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

     

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  • January 25, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak 

    On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order and four memoranda addressing pipeline, infrastructure, and manufacturing issues. The memoranda include one directing prompt consideration of the remaining federal approvals needed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another memorandum invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for a Presidential border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The memorandum further directs the Department of State to “reach a final permitting decision” within 60 days of receiving a new Keystone XL permit application.

    A memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce requires the development of a “plan” to require “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines [to]…use materials and equipment [including steel] produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law…”

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W&J Publications

Insights on Current Policy Issues

On March 4, President Obama nominated Ernest Moniz to be Secretary of Energy and Gina McCarthy to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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On February 12, the Obama Administration released its long anticipated cybersecurity Executive Order (EO) along with a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD.) This memorandum will sketch the scope, timing, and unknowns of the EO and PPD as they relate to the financial services industry writ large.  David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald and Michael D. Kans assisted in the preparation of this memorandum.

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The Department of Interior has announced that it will redraft proposed regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing on public lands, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a court filing that indicates it could adjust its 2012 Clean Air Act regulations targeting the oil and gas sector.

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In 2006, 23 Republican Senators joined one Independent and 38 Democrats in voting to approve sweeping immigration reform legislation that would have included a pathway to citizenship for the 11-12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Republican President George W. Bush issued a statement praising the Senate for its action. Ultimately, however, the legislative effort faltered when the House took no further action on the issueOn Friday, December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a "Progress Report" on its study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Congress, through the conference report for the "Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010" (H.Rept. 111-316, P.L. 111-88) requested that the EPA conduct a study on hydraulic fracturing.

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On Friday, December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a "Progress Report" on its study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Congress, through the conference report for the "Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010" (H.Rept. 111-316, P.L. 111-88) requested that the EPA conduct a study on hydraulic fracturing.

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Following the November elections, attention is returning to a series of pending federal regulatory initiatives targeting hydraulic fracturing and oil and natural gas drilling and production.

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Proponents of the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) argue that the average investor in individual stocks will not feel the impact of this kind of tax because such a small tax on a securities transaction is almost nothing for an individual investor. Proponents also argue that an FTT tax has the potential to raise billions in revenue, which they say could decrease market volatility by stabilizing market prices and eliminating the adverse effects felt by the market due to high frequency trading. This document was prepared by Tess K. Illos, Eric I. Robins, David E. Franasiak and Joel G. Oswald.

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Presidential transitions in which one party takes over from the other can trigger regulatory activity in both the outgoing and incoming administrations, designed to further each President's policy priorities. New Presidents have few simple options for rescinding regulations that were finalized by outgoing administrations. While the Congressional Review Act allows for review and repeal of regulations, the successful use of this process requires cooperation by the legislative and executive branches, and action must be taken within the statutory deadlines. This document was prepared by Jessica Hoppe and Frank Vlossak.

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On January 25, 2012 the European Commission proposed comprehensive changes to the EU's 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights. The proposal is a response to growing technological changes and the fact that the 27 EU Member States all implemented the 1995 data protection rules differently, resulting in divergences in enforcement. This document was prepared by Rebecca L. Konst and David E. Franasiak.

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Financial transaction taxes (FTTs) refers to a group of taxes imposed on taxable financial transactions, such as buying or selling securities or currency, with an objective to discourage excessive speculation. The tax was first initiated in the U.K. as a form of stamp duty on the London Stock Exchange. The tax came to the U.S. in 1936, as a revenue raising mechanism during the Great Depression. During that time, a British economist named John Maynard Keynes, proposed levying a form of this tax on Wall Street transactions, because he believed that the tax would curtail financial traders from continuing to employ excessive speculation and consequently increasing market volatility. Thereafter, James Tobin, an American economist developed the idea of a currency transaction tax, now deemed the "Tobin Tax." A Tobin Tax is a tax on spot conversions and is intended to place a penalty on short term currency exchange transactions.  This document was created by Tess K. Illos with contributions from Joel G. Oswald, Rebecca L. Konst, Eric I. Robins and David E. Franasiak.

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PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • March 7, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate. Among the requirements of this latest Executive Order are mandates for federal agencies to appoint “Regulatory Reform Officers” and establish “Regulatory Reform Task Forces”. As described in a White House press release, the Executive Order directs each agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force to: “evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification”; and “focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • February 9, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. On February 3, the White House issued a memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017…” The memorandum provides agencies with information on how to implement the “Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017” established by the Executive Order.   

    Among the issues addressed, the February 3, memorandum clarifies that the Executive Order applies only to significant rulemakings, and does not require compliance by independent federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 25, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak 

    On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order and four memoranda addressing pipeline, infrastructure, and manufacturing issues. The memoranda include one directing prompt consideration of the remaining federal approvals needed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another memorandum invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for a Presidential border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The memorandum further directs the Department of State to “reach a final permitting decision” within 60 days of receiving a new Keystone XL permit application.

    A memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce requires the development of a “plan” to require “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines [to]…use materials and equipment [including steel] produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law…”

    Read...

    Read More

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