Trump White House: Safeguards Produce Huge Net Benefits; Also Trump White House: Repeal Them Anyway
Last week, the Trump administration released the annual Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations. As befitting this auspicious occasion, the administration pulled out all the stops: targeted op-eds from high-ranking administration officials; relevant operatives dispatched to the leading Sunday morning talk shows; and even a televised press conference with the president himself.
Just kidding. They buried it. Quietly. Late on a Friday afternoon. When Congress was away on recess.
And even though it's already February, this was the 2017 draft report, not the 2018 one. The data on offer run through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 – that is, the end of September of 2016. (For context, that's roughly one month before my daughter was born. She's walking now and her vocabulary encompasses three-and-a-half words.) The final 2017 report should have been out months ago, let the alone the draft, which is presented for public inspection and comment. Indeed, we should be expecting the draft 2018 report, containing data through Fiscal Year 2017, soon. (And not for nothing, the Trump administration never bothered issuing the final 2016 report, which would have followed up on the draft report issued during the last year of the Obama administration.)
And if you're wondering if the backdoor release of the draft 2017 report is indicative of an administration's desire to disavow its existence altogether, just wait until you get a load of
CPR Statement: Rep. Mick Mulvaney Should Not Be Confirmed to Lead the Office of Management and Budget
by Brian Gumm | January 24, 2017
NEWS RELEASE: Rep. Mick Mulvaney Should Not Be Confirmed to Lead the Office of Management and Budget Today, the Senate Committees on Budget and Homeland Security
OMB Nominee Jacob Lew, Meet Broken Regulatory State
Today Jacob Lew heads to the hill for two Senate hearings on his nomination to be the new director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget. He is expected to be confirmed. The hearings will likely focus on budgetary issues, but no less important is another division of OMB: the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the office charged with coordinating regulatory policy. The policy context is this: from salmonella-laced eggs to the BP oil spill, we
New CPR White Paper Critiques Supreme Court’s Heightened Pleading Standard for Getting Complaints into Federal Court
Cross-posted from ACSblog. The Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) today released a white paper examining "plausibility pleading"-the Supreme Court's heightened pleading standard that plaintiffs must satisfy in order to bring their claims in federal court. The paper, Plausibility Pleading: Barring the Courthouse Door to Deserving Claimants, comes after the Court's decision one year ago this week in Ashcroft v. Iqbal that this standard applies to all types of federal cases. The Court first created this standard in Twombly v. Bell
Eye on OIRA: Coal Ash Meetings Up to 42, or More Than Half of All OIRA Meetings on EPA Rules
Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy have long celebrated the number 42 as the “answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.” Now, the number 42 also happens to be the number of meetings that OIRA has hosted regarding EPA’s pending coal ash rule, as it works toward developing the Obama Administration’s answer to the ultimate question of how to regulate the disposal of this toxic waste. ________________________________________ OIRA Meetings on Coal Ash, as of
Eye on OIRA: The 121st Day and Coal Ash Still Going to Pits in the Ground
Tomorrow will be the 120th day since the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) began its review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) star-crossed proposal to declare coal ash that is not safely recycled to be a hazardous waste. The number is significant because it marks the end of OIRA’s allotted review period for the proposal, under the Executive Order that governs OIRA. The date will likely come and go without fanfare. By rights, OIRA ought to
EPA's New NO2 Rule: A Tale of OMB Interference
The EPA issued a new rule recently on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) -- but not before it was weakened by OMB. The consequences for the public health are real. The possibility of OMB interference in the rule was first raised by Matt Madia of OMB Watch. He noted that EPA's draft final rule -- sent to OIRA for review on December 18 -- required all metropolitan areas with a population of 350,000 people or more to install a monitoring station for
Coal Ash First Real Test of Obama Commitment to Health and Safety Regulation
A critical test of the Obama Administration’s commitment to reviving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is teeing up behind closed doors at the White House. Once again, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is cast in the role of regulation killer, supported by a slew of state and other federal agencies that are polluters in this scenario. Other players include a nearly hysterical segment of the electric utility industry, which argues that labeling coal ash as a hazardous waste
Bjorn Lomborg Misreads Climate Change Economics in Washington Post Op-Ed
Bjorn Lomborg has seen the future of climate policy, and it doesn’t work. In his opinion, featured Friday in the Washington Post, a binding treaty to reduce carbon emissions – the goal that was pursued unsuccessfully at the Copenhagen conference in December – would have done more harm than good. Reducing emissions enough to stabilize the temperature would have astronomical costs, according to Lomborg, while the benefits would be small. This is par for the course for Lomborg, a Danish
Back to the Future: OMB Intervention in Coal Ash Rule Replicates the Bush Administration's Way of Doing Business
As reported in a post Saturday, OMB has become the epicenter for industry efforts to head off an EPA regulation concerning coal ash. There have been 17 meetings between industry interests and OMB officials. When questioned about the large number of meetings, an OMB spokesman said, "This has been a very regular, very normal deliberative process on a very complex rule.” For progressives who had hoped that OMB in the Obama administration would not replicate OMB in the Bush administration,
WSJ Says White House and EPA at Odds on Coal Ash; Industry Meetings with OIRA on Issue at 17 and Counting
"White House, EPA at Odds Over Coal-Waste Rules" reads a headline in Saturday's Wall Street Journal. It's worth a look. The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has in fact continued to host meetings with outside groups regarding EPA’s work on a rule for controlling the disposal of hazardous coal ash waste. Since my last post on this topic, OIRA has hosted 10 more meetings on this topic. (These latest meetings were held between December 9 and
CPR's Comments on OMB's Draft Report on Costs and Benefits of Regulations: Why More of the Same?
by Amy Sinden | November 05, 2009
Cass Sunstein had barely begun settling in to his new position as Administrator of OMB’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in September, when OIRA released a draft of OMB’s 2009 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations. Today marks the deadline for submitting comments to OMB on the draft, and I joined CPR President Rena Steinzor and Policy Analyst James Goodwin in submitting comments. We read this year’s report with interest, curious to see how the
CPR Scholars' Letter on OMB Intervention in EPA Science Programs
CPR President Rena Steinzor and board member Robert Glicksman sent a letter today to White House Science Adviser John Holdren and OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein regarding OMB's role in EPA science decisions. The letter concerns two recent episodes involving OMB that we wrote about this week: one regarding the EPA's Endocrine Disrputor Screening Program (EDSP) and the other regarding the agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). From the letter: Both of these episodes pre-date Professor Sunstein’s confirmation and may well
Sunstein Watch: Old Habits Die Hard on the Regulatory Killing Ground; Don't OMB Economists Have Better Things to Do Than Channel Industry Opposition to EPA Science?
Before Cass Sunstein had spent much more than a week as the official director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), he invited us over to the White House to talk about how he wanted to shape his small office of economists and statisticians into a strong force for progressive policy within the White House. Followers of the Center for Progressive Reform know that we put out a report in the run-up to his confirmation that was critical
WashPost Prints Lomborg
by Ben Somberg | September 28, 2009
This just in: trying to stop climate change will cost the world about $50 trillion a year, but the impacts of climate change will only cost about $1 trillion a year, so the choice is clear! That's the thesis of Bjorn Lomborg's op-ed in Monday's Washington Post. Presumably the flooding of much of Bangladesh doesn't count for much, since those lives are totally worth less than ours, etc. Update: For more on this, see Joe Romm and Miles Grant.
Lomborg Plays Economist-as-Philosopher-King on Climate Change
Prominent environmental commentator Bjorn Lomborg is at it again, this time convening a blue ribbon panel of five economists to assess the relative merits of different possible methods for addressing climate change. As reported by Reuters Friday morning, Lomborg's panel concluded that "'climate engineering' projects, such as spraying seawater into the sky to dim sunlight, would be a more effective brake on global warming than increasing taxes on energy." In a blog entry, The Wall Street Journal added that the