President Obama used the highest profile outlet possible – his second Inaugural address – to raise the issue of climate change and what the federal government can do to counteract it through regulating emissions of greenhouse gases, improving energy efficiency and related issues. The full speech can be seen here.
That puts an agency that was largely sidelined at the end of Obama’s first term directly in the public spotlight – and makes it a target for opponents of new far-reaching emissions regulations industry groups have said threaten reliability. The EPA is about to get a new chief as Lisa Jackson steps down, and the new agency head will be tasked with originating new regulations and with shepherding through proposed and finalized regulation that the Obama administration delayed in promulgating until after the election finished.
One of the most recent high-profile rules finalized by the Administration is the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter (read more about the rule and its progress and impacts on Breaking Energy here).
The Administration published the final rule in the Federal Register, originally a relatively manageable actual publication that has grown voluminous as the scale of the US federal government has grown. Navigating the Federal Register is a key skill for those hoping for insight to the next moves of the EPA and other federal agencies as they act on the new Obama climate change and energy efficiency agendas; download the first final rule in PDF form with this post and get accustomed to navigating the standard format because the next four years look to be busy ones for energy-oriented lobbyists, who will be closely watching the register for how policy is enacted.