“In the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the White House, Congress and the presidential campaign, federal agencies have responded in temporary and health-focused ways.
But top political officials at agencies that regulate energy issues and the environment have been particularly active during the period in pursuing slates of policies with repercussions that will likely stretch for years, in addition to short-term, virus-specific rules.
Tim Whitehouse, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said the EPA is seizing this window to strip down regulations.
“They’re taking advantage of the pandemic to jam these things through,” he said. “The language of EPA, the mission of EPA during the crisis appears to be to continue to push through as rapidly as possible a deregulatory agenda.””