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Commissioner Strain statement on White House Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation

July 16, 2020

The White House Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation will bring unprecedented growth to our local, state and national economy. President Trump’s far reaching insight, based on his experience and background as a businessman, has resulted in a national movement to curtail over burdensome and unnecessary regulations that stymy investment and innovation.

From initial discussions during the White House Infrastructure Summit held on June 8 2017, it was apparent that such action was critical if this country is to modernize and advance federal infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports, broadband, locks and dams, and similar projects. The President was clear in his intention to streamline regulations and rebuild America. Subsequently, President Trump issued an executive order on August 15, 2017 directing the Council on Environmental Quality to review its existing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations and modernize and accelerate the federal environmental review and decision making process. Currently, it takes federal agencies an average of four and a half years to complete environmental impact statements and seven to 10 years to get environmental clearance on federal highway projects. Under NEPA, the Administration has established presumptive time limits of two years for completion of environmental impact statements (EISs) and one year for completion of environmental assessments (EAs) with specific presumptive page limits and the requirement of joint schedules, a single EIS, and a single record of decision (ROD), where appropriate, for EISs involving multiple agencies. These needed changes will strengthen the role of the lead agencies and requires senior agency officials to timely resolve disputes to avoid delays.

Under President Trump, agencies have taken seven deregulatory actions for every new regulation at a cost savings of over $50 billion to the American public which will result in boosting the average household income by over $3,100 in the coming years.

Here in Louisiana, we have passed legislation to require periodic public review of all rules and regulations and to further require that any new regulations be subject to oversight of a super board comprised of constitutional officers of the state who can accept, reject, or amend administrative law as it is proposed. In the Department of Agriculture and Forestry we have undertaken a systematic review of all laws and regulations and continue to modify or eliminate those that are over burdensome or unnecessary. Regulatory costs disproportionately affect lower -income Americans and cost jobs. We also cannot allow unneeded regulations to delay the advancement of our state and national economy.

The White House Governor’s Initiative on Regulatory Innovation will, after considerable study and discussion, result in implementation of the necessary changes that will facilitate marked national growth and expansion to meet the needs of current and future generations of Americans.