Aug. 7, 2012 by Richard Murphy

Governor Romney's Illegal Proposal for REINS-Lite -- Presidents Don't Get to Use Executive Orders to Rewrite Statutes

Governor Romney claims that burdensome regulations are an immense but hidden tax holding back the American economy. As proof for this proposition, he cites the study on regulatory costs sponsored by the Small Business Administration – a study that’s been debunked by a CPR white paper, the Congressional Research Service, and others. Romney lays out some solutions to this supposed problem in Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growthissued in September of last year.  One of these ideas is to require affirmative congressional approval of all major rules. 

People who drop by CPR’s website likely know that Republicans have already tried to pass legislation to this effect in the form of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The bill passed the House in late 2011, but has gone nowhere in the Senate.  Proponents of the REINS Act like to cast it as a matter of legislative accountability, but the real impetus behind this proposed legislation is to block agencies from regulating by entrusting the fate of rules to a Congress where anti-regulatory forces will likely control at least one choke point. The REINS Act itself, however, can only …

Aug. 6, 2012 by Matt Shudtz

Last month, EPA published for public comment a draft “framework” for human health risk assessment.  It is the culmination of years of work done by EPA staff who are part of the Risk Assessment Forum, a select team of experts from various offices throughout the agency whose efforts were overseen by the Office of the Science Advisor.  Billed as a response to the National Research Council’s Science and Decisions:  Advancing Risk Assessment (a.k.a. the “Silver Book”), the Framework really only addresses one of NRC’s recommendations.  And it proposes policy changes that threaten scientific integrity.

The Silver Book’s Chapter 8 looks innocuous at first glance, suggesting that improvements in EPA’s risk assessment process should include reforms that “make risk assessments more useful for informing risk-management decisions.”  But the simple utilitarian façade masks a proposal that would induce a revolutionary shift in the …

Aug. 3, 2012 by Rena Steinzor

The White House today announced the departure of Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. CPR President Rena Steinzor issued the following statement:  

Cass Sunstein brought impressive credentials and a personal relationship with the President to his job as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. But in the final analysis, Sunstein has continued the Bush Administration’s tradition of using the office to block needed health and safety protections disliked by big business and political contributors. Worse, the narrative that Sunstein helped craft about the impact of regulations on American life — that regulatory safeguards are fundamentally suspect — was discordant with the rest of the President's agenda and the arguments he makes for his reelection.

Sunstein’s departure is an opportunity for the Administration to reset its regulatory policy and embrace public health and safety protections that have …

Aug. 1, 2012 by Rena Steinzor

Talk about trying to fix the wrong problem: Senators Mark Warner, Rob Portman, and Susan Collins have introduced a bill today that seeks to move the rulemaking process further away from agency experts and transparency and more toward hidden corners of the White House, where well-heeled industries can buy access and push political operatives to block rules.

The bill at hand is the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act. In a press release and accompanying fact sheet today, the senatorial trio – one conservative Democrat, one potential Republican VP nominee, and a once-moderate Republican who has changed her stripes – boast how the bill seeks to bring the “independent agencies” under the purview of the White House.  Those agencies include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, both of which have great potential to exasperate the big bankers and security brokers who bankroll elections …

More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Aug. 30, 2012

Regulation as a Dynamic Macroeconomic Enterprise

Aug. 28, 2012

Monsoon Madness

Aug. 27, 2012

Draft Republican Platform Cites Debunked Regulatory Costs Study, Suggests Rules be Only a 'Helpful Guide'

Aug. 24, 2012

New Briefing Paper: States Can Lead the Way to Improved Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards

Aug. 23, 2012

The Romney-Ryan Energy Plan: Back to States' Rights

Aug. 23, 2012

Can Clean Energy Campaigns Stop Climate Change?

Aug. 22, 2012

DC Circuit's Cross-State Decision: A Nearly Inescapable Straitjacket for EPA