The Presidential Decision to Delay the EPA Ozone Standard is based upon a Process Adopted by Nine Administrations.


The decision of the President to delay the EPA ozone standard is based upon the concept of centralized regulatory review. Centralized regulatory review, Presidential oversight of federal regulatory agencies, is often considered a defining component of the regulatory state although the Executive, Congressional and Judicial Branches of government continue to spar over control of the regulators.

There are two alternative views of the origins of centralized review.

One view of the origin of centralized regulatory review is set forth in probably the most quoted paper on the subject written by then Professor, now Justice, Elena Kagan in Presidential Administration in which she concludes: “The sea change began with Ronald Reagan’s inauguration”.

Another view is that of Jim Tozzi, a ranking career civil servant in charge of centralized regulatory review for the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations, who concludes that there is a near seamless evolution of Presidential control over the regulators as a result of then five, and now nine, Administrations. Dr. Tozzi made these points in his unpublished remarks at a recent George Washington University Symposium on the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, available at

If the aforementioned link does not work, try this one, scroll to Tozzi

In essence the President’s decision on ozone is not based upon a quick fix developed by the Reagan Administration but instead upon the deliberate decisions of nine consecutive Presidential Administrations.