Regulatory Policy

Regulatory safeguards play a vital role in protecting us from hazards and ensuring that companies that pollute, make unsafe products, and create workplace hazards bear the cost of cleaning up their messes and preventing injuries and deaths. Still, the regulatory system is far from perfect: Rules take too long to develop; enforcement is often feeble; and political pressure from regulated industries has led to weak safeguards.

These systemic problems are made all the more severe by the determination of the Trump administration to undercut sensible safeguards across virtually all aspects of federal regulation. Moreover, the President and his team have taken aim at the the process by which such safeguards are developed, aiming to take a system already slanted in favor of industry profit at the expense of health, safety and the environment, and make it even less protective. For example, where critics of the use of cost-benefit analysis see a system that understates the value of safeguards and overstates the cost of implementing them -- making it difficult to adopt needed protections -- the Trump administration seeks simply to ignore benefits of safeguards, pretending they do not exist. The result is a regulatory system that fails to enforce landmark laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and more.

CPR exposes and opposes efforts by opponents of sensible safeguards to undermine the regulatory system, fighting back against knee-jerk opposition to environmental, health, and safety protections. Below, see what CPR Members Scholars and staff have had to say in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

Statement on West Virginia v. EPA: Supreme Court Deals Blow to Common-sense Climate Protections

Once again turning its back on bedrock precedent and the will of the American people, the U.S. Supreme Court today sent a wrecking ball through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to protect us all from climate change. More than that, though, even the still-settling dust cannot conceal the extent of the damage this decision does to our system of regulatory safeguards, as it threatens our ability to take common-sense actions to protect public health, safety, financial security, and the environment.

Type: News Releases (June 30, 2022)
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A Blueprint for "Regulatory Democracy": Empowering the Public in the Design and Implementation of New Safeguards

In April 2022, Data for Progress surveyed 1,179 likely voters nationally to measure public attitudes toward several of the key provisions in the Stop Corporate Capture Act. The results found broad support across the political spectrum for these proposed changes to the regulatory system. These results suggest that legislation aimed at modernizing the regulatory system by making it more inclusive and equitable would not only improve its performance, but also but also increase public confidence in this critical part of our government.

Type: Reports (June 28, 2022)
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Author(s): James Goodwin, Lew Blank
New Poll Finds Strong Bipartisan Support for Building a Modernized, People-Centered Regulatory System

The U.S. public strongly backs legislation that would overhaul the nation’s regulatory system by ending corporate dominance of the federal rulemaking process and enabling government agencies to better protect people and the planet, according to a new poll released today by the Center for Progressive Reform and Data for Progress.

Type: News Releases (June 28, 2022)
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Opinion Overturning Roe and Casey Abandons the Rule of Law, Underscores Need for Americans to Reclaim Our Court

Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization warrants unqualified condemnation and sends a chilling warning that the Court's conservative majority has embraced extremism and abandoned the rule of law, putting longstanding rights and protections in grave danger.

Type: News Releases (June 24, 2022)
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Author(s): Minor Sinclair
Leaked Opinion Overturning Roe and Casey Abandons the Rule of Law, Damages the Integrity of the Supreme Court

The draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaked yesterday warrants unqualified condemnation and sends a chilling warning that longstanding protections — in areas from health, safety, and the environment, to equity and equality — are in grave danger. The Court's conservative majority has made clear it is willing to overturn our constitutional right to reproductive freedom and privacy and abandon precedent when it suits its ideological whims. It is also taking an extreme activist approach to the cases before it, making law from the bench. In doing so, the majority is abandoning the rule of law and severely damaging the Court's integrity.

Type: News Releases (May 3, 2022)
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Author(s): Minor Sinclair
New Report Offers Tools to Strengthen 'Energy Democracy' at Key Federal Agency

The federal government can and should do more to help the public meaningfully engage in the nation’s energy policy, leveling the playing field for them against corporate special interests with outsized access and influence over energy decisions. These decisions have profound implications for public and environmental health, our ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, our national security, and more, according to a new report by the Center for Progressive Reform.

Type: News Releases (April 27, 2022)
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s New Office of Public Participation: A Promising Experiment in 'Energy Democracy'

It is past time for federal regulatory agencies to better engage the public and incorporate their unique on-the-ground perspectives to inform their work and make better, fairer decisions. To its credit, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is taking steps to do so and has created a new leadership role focused on environmental justice and equity. A major structural change is also underway: after decades of delay, FERC is now creating a new Office of Public Participation (OPP) to empower the public through more inclusive and responsive policymaking processes. This report provides core constituencies — agency policymakers, advocates for energy justice, and members of the public who are concerned about our energy future — with the information they need to ensure the OPP achieves its goal of promoting greater energy democracy at FERC. It begins by describing FERC’s role in energy policy and how its actions impact Americans; it then reviews FERC’s progress thus far in constituting the OPP. Finally, it offers recommendations to ensure the OPP achieves its goals and lessons to enhance regulatory democracy and equity across all federal regulatory agencies.

Type: Reports (April 27, 2022)
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Author(s): Shelley Welton, Hannah Wiseman, James Goodwin, Alexandra Klass
Demolition Agenda: A Conversation with Tom McGarity on New Book about Trump Administration’s Corruption

On Thursday, May 19, the Center for Progressive Reform hosted a conversation with Member Scholar and Board Member Tom McGarity on his new book, Demolition Agenda.

Type: Webinars (April 6, 2022)
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Testimony to the House Small Business Committee on the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy

On March 2, 2022, Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin submitted written testimony to the U.S. House Small Business Committee. His testimony examined the activities and claims of the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy and some repeatedly debunked research it sponsored. He also refuted several misleading and false claims about the impact of regulations on small businesses.

Type: Legislative Testimony (March 2, 2022)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Testimony to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Center for Progressive Reform Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin testified on the importance of reinstating the "necessary and appropriate" finding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mercury and air toxics rule. The finding, rolled back during the Trump administration's deregulatory frenzy, is essential to ensure the rule stands and continues protecting all Americans — particularly children — from mercury and other dangerous toxins.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Feb. 24, 2022)
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Author(s): James Goodwin

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