Archive for May, 2012

Obama Pro-Business Regulation Push Reaps No Political Dividends

From: Bloomberg

By Andrew Zajac and Hans Nichols

Barack Obama boasts that he’s issued fewer rules than George W. Bush, and his officials say regulatory rollbacks are expected to save more than $10 billion.

The administration has postponed decisions on several regulations, including a proposal to require rearview cameras in cars and a draft plan to cut ozone emissions that may cost as much as $90 billion. If the president is betting on that record working to his advantage with business groups in an election year, the odds are against him, say industry lobbyists and analysts.

Cass Sunstein Honored With 2012 Regulatory Innovation Award, Established By Morrison & Foerster

NEW YORK, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Morrison & Foerster LLP announced Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget, as this year’s recipient of the Burton Foundation’s annual Regulatory Innovation Award. Morrison & Foerster established this award in 2008 through the Burton Foundation to honor an academic or non-elected public official whose innovative ideas have made a significant contribution to the discourse on regulatory reform. Sunstein was selected by an independent panel of academics, practitioners and financial journalists for his commitment to understanding the nature of regulation and the role of incentives in formulating successful regulations.

Project Update: Letter to OIRA on Interagency Coordination

From: Institute for Policy Integrity/New York University School of Law

Policy Integrity submitted a letter to OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein today with recommendations for how OIRA can improve interagency coordination. The letter focuses on two key areas: (1) concerns about regulatory conflict, and (2) potential for harmonization of cost-benefit analysis methodology.

Our first recommendation is for OIRA to directly address criticism about the prevalence of conflicting, incoherent, and redundant regulations throughout the administrative state. OIRA should conduct an empirical investigation to assess the real scope of such a problem. Methodologies for this include surveying the academic literature, consulting with agencies, and soliciting comments to better understand the extent of conflicting regulations.

Recommendations to Promote Interagency Coordination

Editor’s Note:  The complete letter is attached below.

From: Institute for Policy Integrity/New York University School of Law

Dear Administrator Sunstein,

The Institute for Policy Integrity respectfully submits the following recommendations on steps that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) should take to promote interagency coordination.

The Institute for Policy Integrity (Policy Integrity) is a non‐partisan think tank dedicated to improving the quality of government decisionmaking through advocacy and scholarship in the fields of administrative law, economics, and public policy.

Cheers to the Commodity Future Trading Commission!

From: WSJ

CFTC Taps Help for Cost Analysis on New Rules


WASHINGTON—The White House office that reviews federal regulations will help derivatives regulators with the cost-benefit analysis of their rules, after regulators’ analysis of costs has been the subject of several recent lawsuits challenging new rules.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said at a meeting Thursday that the agency had entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that will allow an OIRA staffer to work with the CFTC on the economic analysis of rule making.

Obama Says Rule Rollbacks Will Save $6 Billion in 5 Years

From: Bloomberg

U.S. rule changes involving street signs, train control systems and hospital reporting requirements will save consumers and businesses almost $6 billion in the next five years, the Obama administration said.

The cost savings are about the same as the annual expense involved in rulemaking, said Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, who announced the reforms today at an American Bar Association meeting in Washington.

“We have in one day taken away that cost,” he said.

Republicans have criticized some regulations issued by President Barack Obama as too burdensome on business and have made his approach to rule-making a campaign issue.

Cass Sunstein, head of OIRA, explains gains achieved through cost-benefit analysis of regulation

From: NYU Law

Cass Sunstein, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget and one of the most prolific and frequently cited legal academics today, detailed some of the promising results of using cost-benefit analysis in overseeing the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda when he spoke at NYU Law on April 30. 

Richard Revesz, Cass Sunstein, and Michael Livermore '06

Reducing Red Tape: Regulatory Reform Goes International

Editor’s Note:  President Obama’s Executive Order “Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation” is attached below.

From:  OMB

Posted by Cass Sunstein

Over the past year, the Federal Government has been working to implement President Obama’s directions for a 21st-century regulatory system, which he described in Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” Executive Order 13563 requires U.S. regulators, to the extent permitted by law, to select approaches that maximize net benefits; choose the least burdensome alternative; increase public participation in the rulemaking process; design rules that are simpler and more flexible, and that provide freedom of choice; and base regulations on sound science. Executive Order 13563 also calls for an ambitious, government-wide “lookback” at existing rules, with the central goal of eliminating outdated requirements and unjustified costs.

The White House vs. Red Tape

From: Wall Street Journal

A new executive order will help harmonize U.S. regulations with foreign ones, reducing costly redundancies while preserving public safety.


In an interdependent global economy, diverse regulations can cause trouble for companies doing business across national boundaries. Unnecessary differences in countries’ regulatory requirements can cost money, compromising economic growth and job creation. Think of divergent requirements for car headlights, or the labeling of food, or standards for container sizes.