The Trump-era Department of Energy issued requirements for the issuance of guidance documents that limited the agency’s ability to nimbly address evolving issues and increased the costs of issuing guidance.

In April, Democracy Forward submitted a written comment to DOE on behalf of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project supporting withdrawal of these harmful requirements. As explained in the comment, agencies, stakeholders, and the public benefit from the issuance of guidance documents. But the Trump-era requirements limited the DOE’s ability to nimbly address evolving issues and increased the costs of issuing guidance in the first place, which harms all stakeholders that benefit from guidance documents.

The comment also countered the basis for the Trump administration’s changes: specifically, the New Civil Liberties Alliance’s petition for rulemaking, which inspired the final January 2021 rule, rests on inaccurate premises and was fatally flawed. The comment explained how NCLA’s rhetoric is inconsistent with reality and that it failed to account for the benefits of robust guidance.

Read the entire comment here.

UPDATE: In June, DOE withdrew these harmful requirements. In its withdrawal, DOE noted that it “agrees with [ASAP’s] comments” and believes the Trump-era requirements for issuing guidance “hinder[] DOE in having such maximum flexibility in that it could require DOE to delay issuance of final guidance documents that may be best issued quickly to inform the public of DOE actions in order to address the challenges facing the nation.”