Search Results Archives: June 2013

June 24, 2013

Advisory group recommends cost/benefit analysis for CPSC regulations

Editor’s Note:  The ACUS project page for Benefit-Cost Analysis at Independent Regulatory Agencies is available here.

By: Sean Wajert/Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

We have posted before about the impact of regulations on clients and indirectly on product litigation. Earlier this month the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal advisory council, gave its approval to a policy recommendation encouraging independent regulatory agencies to apply formal cost-benefit analysis to their rule-making efforts. One affected agency would be the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

June 23, 2013

Stakeholders brace for White House move on power plant emissions

From: Reuters

By Valerie Volcovici

Before President Barack Obama unveils a plan to lower carbon emissions from thousands of existing U.S. power plants, stakeholders on all sides of the issue have attempted to make their mark on the regulations.

Electric utilities, environmental groups, large electricity consumers, and states have been working furiously behind the scenes for months to have a say in new rules that will be laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency.

June 20, 2013

Obama Readying Emissions Limits on Power Plants

From: New York Times


WASHINGTON — President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.

Electric power plants are the largest single source of global warming pollution in the country, responsible for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. With sweeping climate legislation effectively dead in Congress, the decision on existing power plants — which a 2007 Supreme Court decision gave to the executive branch — has been among the most closely watched of Mr. Obama’s second term.

June 19, 2013

White House officials at meeting on harmonizing Canada-U.S. trade regulations

From: Canadian Press

WASHINGTON – White House officials will be at the Canadian embassy on Thursday to discuss a joint Canada-U.S. initiative feared to be on life support in recent months — the Regulatory Co-operation Council, aimed at harmonizing trade regulations to ease cross-border trade between the world’s two biggest trading partners.

Both Canadian and American stakeholders and business representatives, many of whom will be in attendance at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, have been complaining for months about the slow pace of progress on behalf of American officials, and have questioned the U.S. commitment to the two-year-old initiative.

June 17, 2013

White House, EPA at odds over savings produced by emissions regulations

From: The Hill/RegWatch

By Julian Hattem

How much do new regulations cost? It depends on whom you ask.

That’s the message from a disagreement that emerged this week over the benefits of a draft rule to regulate some emissions of formaldehyde, a chemical that can cause irritation and may lead to cancer.

This week, newly released documents showed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overestimated the benefits of its new proposal by up to $230 million, according to the White House office that oversees new regulations before publication.

June 10, 2013

Is fracking regulation a federal issue?

From: Scientific American

By David Wogan

A couple of items about fracking regulations worth keeping track of. First, the Associated Press reports that the comment period is being extended by 60-days for a new rule that will regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands. The 171-page rule would require companies who drill for oil and natural gas using hydraulic fracturing to disclose chemicals used in the process.

June 4, 2013

The Truth-O-Meter Says:

From: Cleveland Plain Dealer/PolitiFact – Ohio

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says the Obama administration has put out more major rules than other recent administrations


Because we deal with lots of loose rhetoric at PolitiFact Ohio, we’re attracted like a magnet to any claim that tries to actually quantify a political or ideological point. Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman delivered such a tidbit during a conference call with Ohio reporters on May 23.

Portman was explaining a bill he co-introduced that could require additional cost-benefit analysis and allow more business flexibility before new federal regulations and rules could be issued. Portman says too many government regulations are imposed without a commonsense assessment of their burden on businesses and jobs. And he said that President Barack Obama’s administration has put out “more of these major rules than the Clinton administration or the Bush administration during comparable times.”

June 3, 2013

The Anti-Precautionary Principle

The term “Anti-Precautionary Principle” was discussed by Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Adam Thierer in this paper.  According to Thierer, the Anti-Precautionary Principle

… would generally hold that:

1. society is better off when technological innovation is not preemptively restricted;

2. accusations of harm and calls for policy responses should not be premised on hypothetical worst-case scenarios; and

3. remedies to actual harms should be narrowly tailored so that beneficial uses of technology are not derailed.

Although the Anti-Precautionary Principle concept was discussed within the context of a Federal Trade Commission proceeding on privacy and cybersecurity, it has broad implications for federal technology-related regulations.