The Reuter news organization disclosed environmental groups plan to utilize the Information Quality Act to prevent the Trump Administration from posting inaccurate information on climate change. Also see article in BNA.
A number of news organizations picked up this story.
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
CRE believes this story has legs whether or not it is promoted in the social media. For those who believe that plaintiffs can not seek judicial review under the DQA, it should be noted that environmental groups who challenge any decision to deny their petition for correction under the DQA may find a sympathetic ear in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals who in the Prime Time decision opined that the DQA was binding on agencies.
“Posting blatantly false information on the EPA’s website would violate the Information Quality Act,” said Romany Webb, a climate law fellow at Columbia University.”
Scientists may steal a page from the oil industry’s playbook to stop President Donald Trump rewriting the U.S. position on climate change, by relying on an obscure law meant to ensure federal agencies present accurate information.
The 2001 Information Quality Act, passed under Republican President George W. Bush, has for years provided a way for companies and their lobbyists to challenge federal agencies’ assumptions on issues ranging from the threats posed by global warming to the health effects of petrochemicals.
Now, as Trump’s leadership seeks to get the Environmental Protection Agency into line with the new administration’s more pro-business and anti-regulation agenda, the act could become a tool for rebellious scientists and climate advocates, legal experts said.
Editor’s Note: The aforementioned discussion on a DQA compliant posting is of particular significance in the use of the CRA. In order to have a rule rescinded the proponent must provide a rationale. If the rationale is not DQA compliant the opponents of a rescission can file a Request for Correction, a petition, demonstrating that the complaint must be denied.
“Still, the source suggests that the Trump OIRA ask its agencies to advise it of all major rules that did not have reports filed, and whether any of those may be vulnerable from a cost or policy standpoint. “And then get a list for each agency, and have staff review and present the most important targets. And then take that to the House and Senate to agree on a set of regulations to go after.” The source also suggests looking at “troublesome guidance.”
“The source urges OIRA to phase the targets in over the next three years because otherwise the 60-day clock would start for each rule not previously reported. Phasing in the reports would buy the administration and the Congress time.”
[Inside EPA stated earlier that CRE was the aforementioned source]
Trump’s interesting order could be a showpiece–analysts
“The bottom line is we’ve been proposing this for 37 years,” he said.
“It would be the most major thing since [President] Nixon issued the Quality of Life Review. All environmental health and safety regulations have to go through OMB for review,” he said. “That was huge because it was the first time a president took control of the rulemaking process.”
[The Executive Order] would concentrate greater power in the Office of Management and Budget
Jim Tozzi, a former head of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and now head of the nongovernmental Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, said that Trump’s proposal would require a lot of analytical work.
“It is not a trivial undertaking at all,” Tozzi said.
President Trump’s Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs is attached here. Below is an excerpt.
Historically, CRE has promoted two improvements, and only two, in the federal regulatory process: (1) the implementation of a regulatory budget, and (2) an Administration declaring before the courts that the Data Quality Act is judicially reviewable.
Much to the credit of the Trump Administration we have, after thirty seven years. a regulatory budget! The Executive Order could be a landmark because it would put into play, acting through OIRA, a transparent and forceful mechanism for controlling the size of the regulatory state.
Sec. 3. Annual Regulatory Cost Submissions to the Office of Management and Budget.
(d) During the Presidential budget process, the Director shall identify to agencies a total amount of incremental costs that will be allowed for each agency in issuing new regulations and repealing regulations for the next fiscal year. No regulations exceeding the agency’s total incremental cost allowance will be permitted in that fiscal year, unless required by law or approved in writing by the Director. The total incremental cost allowance may allow an increase or require a reduction in total regulatory cost.
CRE is hopeful that the Trump Administration will also act on its Data Quality proposal.