PPR Launches Major Study of Business Regulation and Economic Inequality

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation (PPR)

A new research initiative led by Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese and supported by a $500,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will empirically investigate the linkages between business lobbying, government regulation, and economic inequality.


In addition, his team will use regulatory impact analyses and other sources of data to develop an empirical portrait of the how the overall impacts of federal regulation are distributed across different industries, regions, communities, and socioeconomic groups in the United States. They will also investigate several key — but previously unstudied — avenues by which businesses may influence the regulatory process, such as through agenda-setting and through post-promulgation waivers and exemptions.

Regulatory Guidance Processes: Selected Departments Could Strengthen Internal Control and Dissemination Practices

Editor’s Note: The folloing are excerpts from GAO-15-368. All agency guidance documents disseminated to the public must comply with OMB’s Data Quality Act requirements.

From: US GAO


Given both the importance of guidance and the concerns about its use, in 2007 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recognized the need for good guidance practices. In particular, OMB established review processes for the documents with the most broad and substantial impact.


We Shouldn’t Dismiss “Sue and Settle” – or Other Regulatory Problems

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Are “sue and settle” tactics used by regulatory agencies something we need to worry about? Not according to Daniel Walters, who argues in a recent RegBlog essay that the practice of agencies collusively settling deadline lawsuits “almost never occurs” and that, to the extent it does, it contributes “to the democratic character of what is otherwise a very shadowy forum.” Such claims are only plausible under the sort of logical positivism on which so much academic writing about regulatory topics is premised, in which the only “facts” about which we can speak (or that we care about) are those that can be found in published literature.

Obama Management Chief: Senior Execs Must Set Tone for Better Performance

Editor’s Note: The Senior Executive Service Corps needs to demonstrate social entrepreneurial skills.

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark


Cobert stressed the importance of the Senior Executive Service in “setting the tone” for improved performance and leveraging new talent in government. She nodded to the administration’s decision to speed agency designation of priority goals to take advantage of them earlier in the budget process. And she touted the value of making benchmarked performance data “part of the regular order of things.”


When Behavioral Science Meets Public Policy

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

As evidenced by the Behavioral Insights Team launched by the UK government as well as the creation of a White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, so-called nudges have caught fire with policymakers around the globe. Popularized by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s recent best-selling book, the nudge idea has been praised as a low-cost, choice-preserving innovation – while criticized as too paternalistic and full of unintended consequences in practice.


Groups Aim To Sway Outcome Of Multi-Year RFS As OMB Begins Review

From: Inside EPA

Renewable fuels producers, oil industry groups and senators are waging competing efforts to try and sway the outcome of EPA’s pending multi-year renewable fuel standard (RFS) to their preferred outcome, as the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) begins its review of the rule that will set RFS targets for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Read Complete Article (paywall)

White House Reboots Draft Guidance on Evaluating Climate Change Impacts

Editor’s Note: NEPA analyses neeed to comply with the Data Quality Act. See discussion of the Berkeley Blog post on NEPA and the DQA here.

From: Environmental Leader

Bryan LeRoy

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has restarted the process for formal advice on how best to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). More than four years after issuing its first draft guidance on the same subject, CEQ published its Revised Draft Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews on December 24, 2014.