Archive for August, 2018
From: The Regulatory Review
Requiring EPA cost-benefit analysis could ensure that regulations do more good than harm.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently has taken a historic step to advance the “cost-benefit state,” the paradigm in which “government regulation is increasingly assessed by asking whether the benefits of regulation justify the costs of regulation.”
EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting public comment on whether and how EPA should create rules for weighing costs and benefits when implementing statutes. EPA also requested comment on specific analytic approaches to quantifying costs and benefits.
By Simon F. Haeder, Susan Webb Yackee
Since President Trump took office last year, his administration has been working to undo many Obama-era regulations affecting clean water, national parks, energy production and more. Most recently, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has proposed weakening Obama-era regulations on coal-fired power plants.
But there could be still more deregulating underway than most government watchers realize. Trump — like many presidents of both parties — is using the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to change regulations before they are issued. And while these changes can be significant, the public has little or no ability to learn about them.
Editor’s Note: See A Blueprint for OMB Review of Independent Agency Regulations (2002).
From: Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
One of the most intriguing, unanswered questions about this Administration’s approach to regulatory policy is whether they’ll pull independent agencies in for some form of review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Although this issue has been kicked around for decades, President Trump’s appointment of Neomi Rao to the post of OIRA Administrator suggested it was going to be a key issue because of her scholarship as a law professor. A recent OIRA memo demonstrates ongoing appetite to rein in independents.
From: Government Executive
A thought-provoking 2017 California Law Review article by Daniel Farber and Anne Joseph O’Connell documents various types of adversarial relationships that exist between agencies as well as the various mechanisms of conflict resolution.
Their article reminded me of an interesting interagency regulatory conflict that I observed back in the early 1980s while working at the Government Accountability Office. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Food and Drug Administration independently imposed conflicting regulatory requirements on chocolate manufacturers. OSHA insisted the manufacturers install sound baffling to reduce ear-damaging noise from machinery, while FDA insisted on stainless steel machinery to ensure the chocolates were not contaminated with foreign material. Eventually, the newly-created Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the White House Office of Management and Budget was brought in to referee the conflict.
As part of the White House’s strategy to reform the administrative state, several federal agencies have proposed measures to improve the efficiency and transparency of the regulatory process. In recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have requested comments on cost-benefit analysis standards, while the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have proposed an economically significant rule that would require cost-benefit analysis.
Editor’s Note: See CRE’s website dedicated to the history of regulatory budgeting and current implementation of a regulatory budget here.
From: American Action Forum
The most noteworthy component of the Trump Administration’s regulatory reform efforts is the establishment of a regulatory budget — a cap on the amount of costs an agency’s new rules can impose each year. With the fiscal year (FY) ending on September 30, this analysis provides an update on where agencies stand relative to their savings target with two months to go.