Counting Benefits at the High Court

Editor’s Note: EPA benefit-cost analyses comply with the requirements of Data Quality Act including OMB’s peer review standards. See here and here.

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

A coalition of coal companies, coal-fired power plants, and coal-friendly states recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that the system of evaluating regulations that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has used under presidents of both parties, across four decades, should be altered. The case, Michigan v. EPA, challenges the EPA’s rule finalizing the mercury and air toxics standards (MATS), which regulate toxic emissions from power plants.

Western coalition files data quality suit against feds on greater sage-grouse

Editor’s Note: The Department of Justice has informed the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that OMB is the DQA is “policed” by OMB — not by the courts; DOJ went on to state that OMB has the right to “take action” if agencies are not living up to their DQA duties. For more information, see DOJ Notifies the Ninth Circuit that OMB is the Court of Last Resort on DQA Issues: Implications for Climate Change.

From: High Plains/Midwest AG  Journal

U.S. Information Quality Act Filing Reveals Patent Assertion Entity Propaganda

Editor’s Note: For more information on the need of federal agencies to adhere to OMB’s Data Quality Act peer review requirements, please see here.

By Lawrence A. Kogan

On March 30, 2015, electrical engineer and long-time IEEE member and patent holder, Ron Katznelson, filed an Information Quality Act Request for Correction (IQA/RFC) with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (WH/OSTP).  The IQA/RFC sought correction of the statistical data and other information contained in a 2013 White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues report entitled, “Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation.”  This report is otherwise known as the patent assertion entity (PAE) or “patent troll” report.

Judicial Review of Agency Benefit-Cost Analysis

Editor’s Note: Benefit-cost analyses relied on by agencies in rulemakings must comply with the requirements of the Data Quality Act.

From: George Mason Law Review, 2015

Caroline Cecot & W. Kip Viscusi


[W]hen an agency decides to rely on a cost-benefit analysis as part of its rulemaking, a serious flaw undermining that analysis can render the rule unreasonable.1

However, we would be reluctant to seize upon a single apparently erroneous datum in a very complex rulemaking and announce that the error undermines the entire rule . . . .2



EU, US trade talks seek to advance regulatory pillar


Set to meet in New York next week (20-24 April) for the ninth round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), negotiators are determined to make progress on all strands of the deal, but particularly on regulatory cooperation.

Daniela Vincenti


Central coordination

When it comes to structuring regulatory cooperation, the Commission has submitted a proposal for a regulatory body at the last negotiating round.


The joint body could be led at the US level by USTR and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and on the EU side by DG Trade and the Secretariat General, analysts told EurActiv.

DOL Releases Fiduciary Plan

From: Think Advisor

Revised measure out for 75-day comment period; includes ‘best interest contract’ exemption

By Melanie Waddell, Washington Bureau Chief/Investment Advisor Magazine

The Department of Labor issued for public comment Tuesday the long-anticipated controversial redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.


Only after reviewing all the comments will the administration decide what to include in a final rule, DOL said, and even once the DOL ultimately issues a final rule, it will not go into effect immediately.

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Blacklisting Exec Order to Impose Substantial Costs on Contractors

From: HR Policy Association

The Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces (a.k.a. “Blacklisting”) executive order would impose total costs on federal contractors well in excess of $100 million, according to a preliminary analysis recently submitted to the administration by HR Policy Association and other business groups.  The proposed rule and guidance to implement the executive order (EO) are currently under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and it is clear the agency is under considerable pressure to publish both soon….

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Confronting the Problem of Stealth Regulation

From: Mercatus Center | George Mason University

John D. Graham , James Broughel

The federal regulatory system includes two important components, each designed to ensure that the regulatory process works to advance the interests of the American people. First, the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (APA) compels regulatory agencies to consider the wishes of the American public via a process of public participation in rulemaking. Second, regulatory review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), in place since the early 1980s, provides assurance that a minimal level of evidence, especially economic evidence, is supplied to support agency decisions. Along with judicial review and congressional oversight, these components provide the checks and balances that are the foundation of the modern regulatory state.

340B CMP Proposed Rule Sent to OMB

From: cis Life Sciences Consulting


On April 8, 2015, HRSA submitted a 340B Civil Monetary Penalties for Manufacturers proposed rule (RIN: 0906-AA89) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review.  The text of the rule has not yet been published, but according to the abstract at, this rule, “would amend section 340B of the Public Health Service Act to impose monetary sanctions (not to exceed $5,000 per instance) on drug manufacturers who intentionally charge a covered entity a price above the ceiling price established under the procedures of the 340B Program.”

PBGC Proposes Electronic Filing for Multiemployer Plan Notices

From: PlanSponsor

By Rebecca Moore

The PBGC says electronic filing of certain notices required by multiemployer plans would result in greater efficiencies for the government.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is proposing to amend its regulations to require electronic filing of certain multiemployer notices.


The proposed rule is part of PBGC’s ongoing implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and is consistent with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s directive to remove regulatory impediments to electronic transactions. The proposal builds in flexibility to allow the agency to update the electronic filing process as technology advances.