Don’t Assume Career Feds Are Resisting Trump’s Deregulatory Push

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark

Three agency managers tasked with implementing President Trump’s push toward deregulation told Congress on Tuesday that White House executive orders have injected fresh motivation in their workforces. The mandated reviews of past rules to identify burdensome or outdated ones, they added, are driven largely by career subject-matter experts.


“I’m impressed that the career staff have been extremely supportive, and without their expert advice, we would not have been able to move forward,” Owens said. “They have a long tradition and culture of cost-benefit analysis, seeking and following sound science.”

Trump’s ‘energy independence’ order: Where do things stand?

From: E&E News

Ellen M. Gilmer and Pamela King, E&E News reporters


The current administration has moved aggressively in the other direction, most notably with a March 28 “energy independence” executive order. In it, Trump plainly stated his objective: Revisit all federal regulations that fetter the operations of U.S. energy producers — especially those developing fossil fuels.


The rule was one of four Interior Department oil and gas regulations explicitly listed in Trump’s executive order and a March 29 order from Secretary Ryan Zinke implementing the White House directive.

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ACUS 68th Plenary Preview: Plain Language in Regulatory Drafting

Editor’s Note: President Jimmy Carter pioneered modern federal plain language requirements in Executive Order 12044—Improving Government Regulation. The Order required that regulations be “written in plain English” and be “understandable to those who must comply with” them. For an in-depth legal analysis of the need for plain language requirements, see Charrow, R.P. and Charrow, V.R. (1979).

From: Administrative Conference of the United States

Submitted by Cheryl L. Blake

Trump, take your smart regulation cuts to NAFTA negotiations

Editor’s Note: For more on the importance of the US—Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council, see here, here, here, and here.

From: The Hill | Opinion


In operationalizing a more ambitious approach to regulatory cooperation in North America, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will be crucial. It should be given the authority to force U.S. departments and agencies to deliver on regulatory cooperation priorities jointly identified with NAFTA partners.

OIRA also should be empowered to provide a structured process through which the business community can submit regulations for proposed alignment, including a clear follow up process within the U.S. Government and vis-a-vis the NAFTA partner in question.

Jim Tozzi on creating OIRA, playing jazz for drunk tourists

From: E&E News | Greenwire


Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter


How did you come to work on regulatory matters like cost-benefit analysis?

Benefit-cost analysis actually started in the Corps of Engineers. The corps did all of these detailed analyses of projects to see if the benefits exceeded the costs.

One day, I was sitting there, and a visiting professor named Al Schmid walked in. He said, “I think we should apply benefit-cost analysis to regulations.” Our whole group was dumbfounded. He went away and wrote a paper on this. It went up to the Hill, and it got buried in some congressional report. But it stuck in my mind. Like a bad dream, it would come back every once in a while.

The federal agency that few Americans have heard of and which we all need to know

From: The Washington Post | Made by History | Perspective

By Leif Fredrickson


Ironically, Reagan’s attack on big government required state-building. Jim Tozzi, who became head of OIRA under Reagan, characterized his goal as similar to that of all good bureaucrats: amassing power. But that power was to be used to control, even undermine, other bureaucracies, often with stereotypical bureaucratic tools: procedural red tape, burdensome paperwork and analysis paralysis.

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