White House: Tech standards are (mostly) industry’s job

From: GCN

By William Jackson

The White House has issued a policy memo clarifying the government’s role in setting technical standards for commercial products in an environment that is becoming increasingly global and interconnected.

The January memo makes no drastic changes in the standards-setting process, which will continue to be driven primarily by the private sector.

“Most standards developed and used in U.S markets are created with little or no government involvement,” it says, and this will remain the primary strategy. “In limited policy areas, however, where a national priority has been identified … , active engagement or a convening role by the federal government may be needed to accelerate standards development and implementation to help spur technological advances and broaden technology adoption.”

OMB Watch on the President’s Jobs Council Report

Editor’s Note:  OMB Watch’s contention that OIRA oversight of the process would give the White House “even more power to contradict or slow down agency rulemaking” fundamentally misunderstands the role of the long-established role of the President in managing regulatory policy.  OIRA participation in reviewing requests for reconsideration of final rules would promote the Obama Administration’s goal of reviewing and changing as needed regulations which have a profound and lasting impact on job creation, economic growth and America’s international competitiveness. 

House investigates ‘F’ grades of Obamacare rules

Editor’s Note:  There a link at the bottom of the article to a detailed discussion of the Mercatus Center’s analysis of the health care regulations on OIRA Watch’s Regulations Under Development forum.

From: Washington Examiner

House investigators have asked President Obama’s regulatory officials and Health and Human Services to explain why economists at Duke and George Mason Universities flagged all nine Obamacare regulations released in 2010 with failing grades caused by “biased” analyses.

The New Republic: Meet the Obama Administration’s Office For Antagonizing Environmental Activists

Editor’s Note:  It often takes environmental regulators years to devleop and propose a major rule.  If in a few instances  OMB’s  OIRA needs to go beyond  its stringent deadlines  for regulatory review–so be it.  Once a rule is promulagated it is around forever so no apologies are due for a slight tardiness.

Molly Redden  New Republic

When President Obama took office, most environmental activists assumed that their cause would still meet resistance in Washington DC—they just assumed it would be located in Congress. But according to activists, a chief opponent of environmental causes has turned out to be within the White House itself: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

Inside EPA on the Outlook for OIRA in 2012

 Read Inside EPA’s Outlook for OIRA based upon its government-wide  contacts attached below

 As EPA Rules Take Center Stage, OIRA Faces Competing Calls For Reform

With EPA’s rules slated to be a key focus of the election-year debate, advocates on all sides are increasingly calling to reform the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the White House office that reviews the agency’s regulations.

OIRA, a part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has already taken center stage in the debate over regulatory costs, with House Republicans and industry groups charging the office is too lax in its reviews of EPA and other agencies’ rules, while environmentalists and public health advocates complain it unnecessarily weakens rules and overrides agency decisionmaking.

Why Does CPR Want to Restrict NRDC’s Access to OIRA?

For decades, the administration in the White House has implemented its policy in part through federal regulations. In recent years, the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has been one instrument used for this purpose by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

OIRA operates in a remarkably open and transparent manner. This open and transparent method of implementing policy is preferable and superior to secret ‘midnight calls’ from the White House to agency staff.

Consequently, we are baffled by the criticism of OIRA contained in the Environmental Law Forum article “The Bottleneck.” The crux of this article is that OIRA is too open and transparent, and that its open-door policy has been disproportionately used by ‘industry groups.’

CPR Urges EPA to Ignore American Chemistry Council Recommendations on the Dixoin Reassessment

Inside EPA

CPR states:

On Tuesday, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) wrote to you with an erroneous interpretation of the IRIS-related riders to H.R. 2055 and, based on that erroneous interpretation, suggested that you should send the ongoing dioxin assessment back to the drawing board

See attached letter from CPR to EPA

CPR Dioxin.pdf (209 KB)