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Aug. 4, 2020 by James Goodwin

CPR Comments Deliver Scathing Critique of EPA 'Benefits-Busting' Rule

Yesterday, I joined a group of CPR Member Scholars and staff in submitting comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "benefits-busting" proposal, which would drastically overhaul how the agency performs cost-benefit analysis on its biggest Clean Air Act rules. As we explain in our comments, the action is a thinly veiled effort to rig the results of those analyses – more so than they already are – to make it harder to issue appropriately strong safeguards, thereby sabotaging the effective and timely implementation of the Clean Air Act.

Our comments lay out in detail several shortcomings of the benefits-busting proposal. To begin, the EPA lacks legal authority to issue a binding rule of this kind. But even if the agency did have such authority, the proposal would do little, if anything, to improve its regulatory decision-making given that cost-benefit analysis is either superfluous to or even prohibited by the Clean Air Act's provisions.

The proposal's provisions are excessively burdensome and many would be impossible to satisfy in practice. Conveniently for corporate polluters, these provisions would be judicially enforceable, handing them a powerful tool to block any Clean Air Act rules they find too inconvenient to their bottom lines. To avoid such risky …

July 22, 2020 by James Goodwin
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Donald Trump is no stranger to leaving things worse off than he found them, and this is precisely what his administration now aims to do with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not just one of the most successful government institutions in the history of the United States, but indeed the world. Having worked quickly, if not sloppily, to dismantle every vestige of the Obama administration's efforts to promote cleaner air and water, the Trump EPA is now heading down a path of self-destruction. The agency's proposed "benefits-busting" rule, released early last month, is a big part of this campaign.

The benefits-busting rule is nominally about overhauling how the EPA does cost-benefit analysis for its Clean Air Act rules, but make no mistake: This action is really about putting that foundational law into concrete boots and shoving it into the nearest body of water. Future efforts to fulfill …

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More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Aug. 4, 2020

CPR Comments Deliver Scathing Critique of EPA 'Benefits-Busting' Rule

July 22, 2020

EPA's 'Benefit-Busting' Proposal Would Add to Trump's Anti-Safeguard Legacy