Comment: The OIRA Model for Institutionalizing CBA of Financial Regulation

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a Comment by Ryan Bubb, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, found in the current issue of Law & Contemporary Problems (Duke Law School). The issue is devoted to The Administrative Law of Financial Regulation. The current issue’s Table of Contents is found here. The complete Comment is found here.

In response to both the executive-branch norm that the agency use CBA, and to the conflict between the EPA and bureaucrats at OIRA who passed judgment on the quality of its CBA and on its proposed rules, the EPA developed substantial analytic capacity, both in house and in a network of government contractors. And the mission orientation of the EPA staff helped mitigate potential ossification of the agency’s regulatory process produced by regulatory review. Today it is not unusual for significant rules issued by the EPA to be accompanied by many hundreds of pages of supporting analytic materials. The creative tension within the executive branch between the EPA and OIRA has produced more and better information and analysis for regulatory decisionmaking. For example, when the interagency effort to quantify the social cost of carbon was initiated, the working group was able to rely on substantial in-house expertise at EPA on the relevant economic models of climate change.  [Notes omitted. Emphasis added]


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