Search Results Archives: March 2013

March 29, 2013

Outdated Laws Drive Stupid Government Spending

From: The Fiscal Times


Maybe our undisciplined government spending isn’t the problem; maybe it’s our stultifying legal system. That has been the message of Philip Howard for years. The author of “The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America” and founder of bipartisan reform coalition Common Good wants to banish out-of-date regulations that drive up costs and perpetuate senseless programs. Today, with legislators scrambling for ways to bring order to our financial house, perhaps his call for legal reform will pierce the cacophony of squabbling interest groups and taxpayers.

March 28, 2013

Obama administration moves ahead with sweeping rules requiring cleaner gasoline

From: The Washington Post

By Juliet Eilperin

The Environmental Protection Agency will move ahead Friday with rules requiring cleaner gasoline and cars nationwide, despite fierce protests from the oil industry and some conservative Democrats, according to several individuals briefed on the matter.

The proposed rules — which had been stuck in regulatory limbo since December 2011 in the face of intense political opposition — would cut the amount of sulfur in U.S. gasoline by two-thirds and impose fleetwide pollution limits on new vehicles by 2017.

March 24, 2013

Smarting Up EU Risk Management: The Needed Step Forward

Editor’s Note: It is essential for global economic growth that the Chief Scientific Adviser’s potential “ensuring that reliable, well-founded scientific evidence will form the basis for EU legislative and regulatory decisions” be achieved.

From: RegBlog

Lorenzo Allio

Managing risks related to public health and safety while protecting the environment is now one of the principal functions that public opinion expects from the European Union. This sentiment has visible repercussions on EU policymaking, as it has been estimated that risk management counts for more than 70% of all regulatory decisions taken in Brussels.

March 21, 2013

OMB Hears From Industry on Silica Rule In First Stakeholder Meeting in 19 Months

From: Bloomberg/BNA — Occupational Safety & Health Reporter™

By Robert Iafolla

The White House Office of Management and Budget held its first stakeholder meeting in 19 months on the long-delayed proposed rule to modify regulations for occupational exposure to silica, OMB said March 14.

OMB heard a presentation from the American Foundry Society arguing that lowered permissible exposure limit for silica is unnecessary and would impose massive costs on the metal-casting industry, according to documents from the meeting posted on OMB’s website.

March 19, 2013

The Employment Costs of Regulation

Editor’s Note: The Mercatus Working Paper, “The Employment Costs of Regulation” is attached here.  Below is the Abstract.

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Keith Hall


March 18, 2013

Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law to Fight Climate Change

Editor’s Note:  For insights into President Nixon’s regulatory review program, see here.

From: Bloomberg

By Mark Drajem

President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.

The result could be significant delays for natural gas- export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn.

March 14, 2013

Making Decisions without All the Answers

From: RegBlog

Maxwell Blum

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule addressing mercury leakage from power plants in 2011, the agency’s Administrator observed that the rule had been twenty years in the making—due in large part to continued uncertainty about the threat mercury posed to human health.

The EPA’s mercury ruling illustrates a problem recently explored in an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report—how government officials should make regulatory decisions when they lack perfect answers to key questions.  Responding to an EPA request for guidance, an IOM committee of experts from a variety of fields, including risk assessment, health, economics, public policy, and environmental law, wrote this report to address risk-management in uncertain contexts, with a specific emphasis on risks to human health.

March 12, 2013

GAO Calls on Agencies to Respond to All Comments

From: RegBlog

James Hobbs

Last summer, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule defining “pre-existing condition” for the purpose of implementing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). The agency called for public input and received 4,627 public comments, but never officially responded to any of them. Cases like this, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), have been happening too frequently.

March 8, 2013

U.S. unlikely to comply with WTO COOL ruling by deadline


Amendments to COOL law are only acceptable remedy: CCA

By: Dwayne Klassen

The U.S. government is not expected to comply with the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling requiring changes to its mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL) law on meats and certain other foods by a May 23 deadline.

“The U.S. government could still pull a rabbit out of its hat and actually change the COOL regulations, but I don’t think they will,” said John Masswohl, director of government and international relations with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Groups urge White House to reconsider ‘borderline discriminatory’ healthcare rule

From: The Hill

By Megan R. Wilson

Groups in Massachusetts are urging the White House to reconsider a proposed rule on insurance premiums that they say is “borderline discriminatory” against small businesses.

In one of a few recent meetings with various organizations at the administration’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the Retail Association of Massachusetts and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce argued that the rate review rule — which is intended to keep premiums down — does not take costs to small businesses into account.