[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 128 (Thursday, July 3, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37963-37965]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15644]



5 CFR Chapter XXII

10 CFR Chapters II, III, and X

Reducing Regulatory Burden

AGENCY: Office of the General Counsel, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Request for information.


SUMMARY: As part of its implementation of Executive Order 13563, 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' issued by the President 
on January 18, 2011, the Department of Energy (Department or DOE) is 
seeking comments and information from interested parties to assist DOE 
in reviewing its existing regulations to determine whether any such 
regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed. The 
purpose of DOE's review is to make the agency's regulatory program more 
effective and less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives. 
In this request for information (RFI), DOE also highlights its 
regulatory review and reform efforts conducted to date in light of 
comments from interested parties.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before July 
18, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments, 
identified by ``Regulatory Burden RFI,'' by any of the following 
    White House Web site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/advise.
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: [email protected]. Include ``Regulatory Burden 
RFI'' in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6A245, Washington, DC 20585.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or 
comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
    That Department's plan for retrospective review of its regulations 
and its subsequent update reports can be accessed at http://energy.gov/gc/services/open-government/restrospective-regulatory-review.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jengeih Tamba, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585, 202-586-5000. Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 18, 2011, the President issued 
Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' 
to ensure that Federal regulations seek more affordable, less intrusive 
means to achieve policy goals, and that agencies give careful 
consideration to the benefits and costs of those regulations. To that 
end, the Executive Order requires, among other things, that:
     Agencies propose or adopt a regulation only upon a 
reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs; and that 
agencies tailor regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives, taking into 
account, among other things, and to the extent practicable, the costs 
of cumulative regulations; and that, consistent with applicable law, 
agencies select, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity).
     The regulatory process encourages public participation and 
an open exchange of views, with an opportunity for the public to 
     Agencies coordinate, simplify, and harmonize regulations 
to reduce costs and promote certainty for businesses and the public.
     Agencies consider low-cost approaches that reduce burdens 
and maintain flexibility.
     Regulations be guided by objective scientific evidence.
    Additionally, the Executive Order directs agencies to consider how 
best to promote retrospective analyses of existing rules. Specifically, 
agencies were required to develop a plan under

[[Page 37964]]

which the agency will periodically review existing regulations to 
determine which should be maintained, modified, strengthened, or 
repealed to increase the effectiveness and decrease the burdens of the 
agency's regulatory program. DOE's plan and its subsequent update 
reports can be accessed at http://energy.gov/gc/services/open-government/restrospective-regulatory-review.
    The Department is committed to maintaining a consistent culture of 
retrospective review and analysis. DOE will continually engage in 
review of its rules to determine whether there are burdens on the 
public that can be avoided by amending or rescinding existing 
requirements. To that end, DOE is publishing today's RFI to again 
explicitly solicit public input. In addition, DOE is always open to 
receiving information about the impact of its regulations. To 
facilitate both this RFI and the ongoing submission of comments, 
interested parties can identify regulations that may be in need of 
review at the following recently established White House Web site: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/advise. DOE has also created a link on the 
Web page of DOE's Office of the General Counsel to an email in-box for 
the submission of comments, [email protected].
    While the Department promulgates rules in accordance with the law 
and to the best of its analytic capability, it is difficult to be 
certain of the consequences of a rule, including its costs and 
benefits, until it has been tested. Because knowledge about the full 
effects of a rule is widely dispersed in society, members of the public 
are likely to have useful information and perspectives on the benefits 
and burdens of existing requirements and how regulatory obligations may 
be updated, streamlined, revised, or repealed to better achieve 
regulatory objectives, while minimizing regulatory burdens. Interested 
parties may also be well-positioned to identify those rules that are 
most in need of review and, thus, assist the Department in prioritizing 
and properly tailoring its retrospective review process. In short, 
engaging the public in an open, transparent process is a crucial step 
in DOE's review of its existing regulations.

Recent Successes

    Two items on the most recent, January 2014 update are the 
Alternative Efficiency Determination Methods and Alternate Rating 
Methods rule (AEDM), and the Test Procedure Waiver rule. Just prior to 
release of the update, DOE published the final AEDM rule; the final 
test procedure waiver rule was published shortly after release of the 
update. Both of these final rules were issued in furtherance of DOE's 
commitment to the retrospective review of its regulations. In the AEDM 
rule, DOE revised its regulations on the use of alternatives to testing 
to certify compliance with applicable energy conservation standards and 
the reporting of related ratings for covered commercial and industrial 
equipment. These regulations arose from a negotiated rulemaking effort 
on issues regarding certification of commercial heating, ventilating, 
air-conditioning (HVAC), water heating (WH), and refrigeration 
equipment. In addition, DOE extended the compliance dates for the 
initial certification of commercial HVAC, WH, and refrigeration 
equipment. In the Test Procedure Waiver rule, DOE amends portions of 
its regulations governing petitions for waiver and interim waiver from 
DOE test procedures to improve the waiver process. The final rule 
restores, with minor amendments, text inadvertently omitted in the 
March 7, 2011 certification, compliance, and enforcement final rule. 
Additionally, the rule adopts a process by which other manufacturers of 
a product employing a specific technology or characteristic, for which 
DOE has granted a waiver to another manufacturer for a product 
employing that particular technology, would petition for a waiver. The 
rule also sets forth a process for manufacturers to request rescission 
or modification of a waiver if they determine that the waiver is no 
longer needed, or for other appropriate reasons; adopts other minor 
modifications to the waiver provisions for both consumer products and 
industrial equipment; and clarifies certain aspects related to the 
submission and processing of a waiver petition.

List of Questions for Commenters

    The following list of questions is intended to assist in the 
formulation of comments and not to restrict the issues that may be 
addressed. In addressing these questions or others, DOE requests that 
commenters identify with specificity the regulation or reporting 
requirement at issue, providing legal citation where available. The 
Department also requests that the submitter provide, in as much detail 
as possible, an explanation why a regulation or reporting requirement 
should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed, as well as 
specific suggestions of ways the Department can better achieve its 
regulatory objectives.
    (1) How can the Department best promote meaningful periodic reviews 
of its existing rules and how can it best identify those rules that 
might be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed?
    (2) What factors should the agency consider in selecting and 
prioritizing rules and reporting requirements for review?
    (3) Are there regulations that are or have become unnecessary, 
ineffective, or ill advised and, if so, what are they? Are there rules 
that can simply be repealed without impairing the Department's 
regulatory programs and, if so, what are they?
    (4) Are there rules or reporting requirements that have become 
outdated and, if so, how can they be modernized to accomplish their 
regulatory objectives better?
    (5) Are there rules that are still necessary, but have not operated 
as well as expected such that a modified, stronger, or slightly 
different approach is justified?
    (6) Does the Department currently collect information that it does 
not need or use effectively to achieve regulatory objectives?
    (7) Are there regulations, reporting requirements, or regulatory 
processes that are unnecessarily complicated or could be streamlined to 
achieve regulatory objectives in more efficient ways?
    (8) Are there rules or reporting requirements that have been 
overtaken by technological developments? Can new technologies be 
leveraged to modify, streamline, or do away with existing regulatory or 
reporting requirements?
    (9) How can the Department best obtain and consider accurate, 
objective information and data about the costs, burdens, and benefits 
of existing regulations? Are there existing sources of data the 
Department can use to evaluate the post-promulgation effects of 
regulations over time? We invite interested parties to provide data 
that may be in their possession that documents the costs, burdens, and 
benefits of existing requirements.
    (10) Are there regulations that are working well that can be 
expanded or used as a model to fill gaps in other DOE regulatory 
    The Department notes that this RFI is issued solely for information 
and program-planning purposes. Responses to this RFI do not bind DOE to 
any further actions related to the response. All submissions will be 
made publically available on. http://www.regulations.gov.

[[Page 37965]]

    Issued in Washington, DC on June 25, 2014.
Steven P. Croley,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2014-15644 Filed 7-2-14; 8:45 am]