Regulatory Lookback Process is Ongoing

From: Office of Federal Register Blog

Posted by Michael White

The Department of Energy recently published a proposed rule in the Federal Register which serves as an excellent reminder that regulatory review is an ongoing process.

Under Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” agencies are required to develop a plan to periodically review existing regulations to determine which ones should be maintained, modified, strengthened, or repealed to increase the effectiveness and decrease the burdens on affected parties.

The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs explained the purpose of regulatory lookback this way:

Reagan Administration Retrospective Review Materials


Reagan i-16

Reagan 17-46

Reagan 47-76

Reagan 77-108


 Reagan Initiatives Feb 18, 1981

Reagan Mid 1981 Report

Energy Regulations: Protecting “Irrational” Consumers From Themselves?

Editor’s Note: A pdf of a summary of the Merctaus fiundings is attached here while the complete Working Paper “Overriding Consumer Preferences with Energy Regulations” is attached here.

From: Mercatus Center

Ted Gayer, W. Kip Viscusi

In recent years, federal agencies have issued energy-efficiency standards for everything from cars to light bulbs. These regulations are commonly billed as important efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

OMB crowdsources regulatory reform

From: Federal Computer Week

By Camille Tuutti

Crowdsourcing has lately been a popular way to gather ideas and information from an array of sources. Now, the White house is taking that avenue to ask citizens to chime in on how to help them overhaul and simplify rules and regulations.

Writing for the OMBlog, Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said the administration wants to hear from the public on which rules should be eliminated, streamlined or made more effective. Citizens are also encouraged to share their insight on how to decrease reporting and paperwork burdens, as well as the best way to cut regulatory costs.

White House Asks: Got an Idea to Simplify Regulations?

From: Wall Street Journal

By Elizabeth Williamson

Cass Sunstein, director of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 16, 2011. (AP Photo)


They’ve asked the people who make the rules, and now they’re asking you: The White House is seeking the public’s ideas on regulations made simple.

Using a dull scissors to cut red tape

From:  The Hill

By Nancy A. Nord and Anne M. Northup, commissioners, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Government agencies should review their rules regularly to ensure that those rules impose the lowest reasonable burden consistent with fulfilling the agency’s statutory objectives. As commissioners at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we are faced with regulatory decisions that affect over 15,000 products worth billions to the American economy each year. As good regulators, it is incumbent upon us to consider the costs and benefits of the rules we adopt. To that end, we challenge our colleagues at the CPSC to embrace the spirit of President Obama’s Executive Order 13579, which asked independent agencies to use cost benefit analysis and to conduct retrospective reviews to identify and fix or repeal rules that are ineffective or too burdensome.

Unbalanced Retrospective Regulatory Review

From: RegBlog

Michael Alan Livermore and Jason A. Schwartz

The  potential of the retrospective review of rules adopted by federal agencies has been hailed by both the right and the left as a way to improve regulation and increase efficiency: by collecting information on what works and what does not, we can make better choices in the future. The Obama Administration has embraced this vision of retrospective review, but unfortunately, by focusing almost exclusively on cutting costs, it is walking back its commitment to use this tool in a balanced fashion.

CRE Comments on Department of Energy Retrospective Regulatory Review

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) recently submitted comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Retrospective Regulatory Review.   In the comments, the CRE recommended  that:

1.  DOE Should Review Select Existing Regulations Across All Agencies that Have a Major Impact on the National Energy Policy

2.  DOE Must Ensure That Future Energy Regulations and Environmental Analyses are Transparent (such as BLM’s Oil Shale PEIS, see here:, Including Releasing Public Comments to the Public


Read the comments in their entirety here:  DOE Review of Regulations – Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Comments



National Association of Manufacturers Letter to Congressman Issa

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently submitted a letter to Congressman Issa and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

NAM identified the following regulations as harming job growth:

1. PHMSA Hazardous Materials: Transportation of Lithium Batters

2. EPA Utility MACT

3. EPA Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

4. EPA Hydraulic Fracturing

5. EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations New Source Performance Standards

6. EPA Cooling Water Intake Structures

7. EPA/DOJ Environmental Justice

8. NLRB Poster Rule

9. NLRB Ambush Elections

10. DOL OFCCP Hiring Rule

11. DOL Persuader Rule

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Letter to Darrell Issa

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) recently submitted a letter to Congressman Issa and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The Letter is available in its entirety here: Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Letter to Congressman Issa