Thought Leadership

Baker Botts Washington Recap: First Year of the Biden Administration - Episode 1

Client Updates

Baker Botts has developed a video series covering important regulatory and legislative events in the first year of the Biden Administration. In our first episode, Associate Emily Mott gives an update on two EPA nominee confirmation hearings, the Vineyard Wind offshore project, updates to the Clean Air Act and the social cost of carbon metrics. 

We will continue to provide periodic updates on relevant administrative and legislative actions throughout the first year of the Biden Administration. 

Last week, confirmation hearings were held on two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nominees - Radhika Fox for Assistant Administrator for Water and Michal Freedhoff for Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

As part of the Biden administration’s drive towards clean energy, the Department of Interior approved Vineyard Wind, a large-scale offshore wind project to be located off the Massachusetts coast. Vineyard Wind will be the largest U.S. wind project undertaken. It will contribute to the Administration’s national goal of generating 30 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2030. Vineyard Wind could create 3,600 jobs and provide power for 400,000 homes and businesses. Interior Secretary Haaland called Vineyard Wind important to “advancing the Administration's goals to create good-paying union jobs while combatting climate change and powering our nation.”

Last week, EPA announced it will revoke a Trump-era cost-benefit air rule that overhauled how the agency evaluates air pollutants. EPA found the Trump rule limited EPA’s ability to use the best available science in developing Clean Air Act regulations and made it harder to limit climate-changing pollutants. EPA Administrator Regan said pulling the rule back shows the current Administration’s commitment to science, public health, and the environment.

The White House Office of Management and Budget announced last week that it will take comments through June 21st on the interim social cost of carbon metrics released in February 2021 by an interagency working group. The metrics will be used by federal agencies to place monetary value on greenhouse gas emissions and reductions.

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