CPR's Heinzerling Reacts to President's Climate Change Speech

by Lisa Heinzerling | June 25, 2013

At a speech this afternoon at Georgetown University, President Obama outlined a series of aggressive steps aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing the nation to adapt to the now unavoidable effects of climate change. Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Lisa Heinzerling issued the following reaction:

The President’s speech offered exactly what many of us have been waiting to hear from him: A solid commitment to use the tools available to the EPA to finally get the federal government out of slow gear on climate change. In particular, by extending emissions limits to existing power plants, he’s taking dead aim at the most severe environmental problem facing the planet. Protests from industry and its allies on the Hill overlook an important reality: The Clean Air Act already gives the EPA authority to adopt such rules, and the Supreme Court has so ruled.

Heinzerling is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University. From January 2009 to July 2009, ...

Congressional Briefing: Anti-Regulatory Myths: What Regulatory Critics Don't Tell You

by Erin Kesler | June 24, 2013
Is the annual cost of federal regulation really $1.75 trillion?  Do regulations really hinder job creation and economic growth? Is it true that agencies are free to issue costly regulations without legal authority or political accountability? These are just some of the myths spread by supporters of legislation to further weaken the ability of protector agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to carry out ...

Three Food Safety Rules Grow Moldy at OIRA, as Import-Related Outbreaks Continue

by Michael Patoka | June 21, 2013
About 15 percent of all foods we consume are imported. Looking at some particular categories, the numbers are far more striking: imports make up 91 percent of our seafood, 60 percent of our fruits and vegetables, and 61 percent of our honey. Most of these imports come from developing countries that lack any effective health and safety regulation—like China, which has had a seemingly endless run of food safety scandals and yet supplies 50 percent of our apple juice, 80 ...

House Amendment to Farm Bill Would Spur USDA Action on Flawed Poultry Slaughter Rule

by Matt Shudtz | June 20, 2013
Hot on the heels of a USDA Inspector General’s report that highlights the failings of privatizing pork inspection, the House yesterday approved an amendment to the Farm Bill that pressures USDA to institute the same type of system in the poultry slaughter industry.  The poultry rule, which we’ve written about in this space before, is not yet in final form, but the poultry industry and its supporters are pushing it in that direction.  The Inspector General’s report adds to the ...

The Lesson of Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann: Water Conservation, not Water Commerce

by Christine Klein | June 19, 2013
It’s been more than 30 years since the U.S. Supreme Court declared that water is an article of commerce and that Nebraska’s attempts to prevent the export of “its” groundwater to neighboring Colorado violated the dormant Commerce Clause.[1] The high Court did not return directly to the issue until last week’s ruling in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann.[2] [3] This time, a unanimous Court ruled againt the would-be exporter--Texas--and its effort to diver a portion of the Kiamichi River ...

Frank Lautenberg: New Jersey and the Senate Lose a Leader

by Rena Steinzor | June 18, 2013
Later in this space, we plan to discuss the many and varied failings of a proposal in the Senate to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. Unfortunately, the proposal is the joint work product of conservative Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and liberal Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died two weeks ago and therefore won’t have the chance to fix the legislation that is so unworthy of his name. But before we take on that misguided proposal, we wanted to pay ...

CPR Scholar Sandi Zellmer: Senate Passes Wrong-Headed “States’ Water Rights Act” WRDA Amendment to Facilitate N.D. Fracking

by Sandra Zellmer | June 14, 2013
The 2013 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), as adopted by the Senate on May 13, S.601, would authorize $12 billion in federal spending on flood protection, dam and levee projects, and port improvements.  A new version of WRDA is passed every few years, and it is the primary vehicle for authorizing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ water projects and for implementing changes with respect to the Corps’ water resource policies. S.601 contains several notable provisions, not the least of which ...

Some Observations from the Howard Shelanski Confirmation Hearing

by James Goodwin | June 13, 2013
Yesterday's confirmation hearing for Dr. Howard Shelanski—President Barack Obama’s nominee to serve as the next “Regulatory Czar,” or Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)—may have been the “most important hearing in Washington this week,” but it did not produce much in the way of bombshells or drama.  Rather, it was a relatively staid affair, which at times had a distinct “going through the motions” vibe. On the positive side, the hearing generated some good ...

The Obama Administration’s Plan B for Plan B: Compliance, or Defiance?

by Lisa Heinzerling | June 11, 2013
The Obama Administration’s announcement that it will comply with a district court’s order that it make emergency contraceptives available to all women and girls without a prescription comes as a welcome development in a long-running administrative-law fiasco. But the Administration’s specific suggestions as to how it will set things right, set forth in letters sent yesterday to the district court and to the citizen petitioners who originally asked for nonprescription access to emergency contraceptives, are inadequate in several respects. First, under ...

EPA’s Formaldehyde Rule: The Mystery of the Shrinking Benefits

by Lisa Heinzerling | June 11, 2013
Why does the White House take so long to review rules from the regulatory agencies?  As I have documented elsewhere, many rules have been stuck at the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for years.  Some of these remain there to this day.  What is the White House doing for the months and years that rules are stuck there? One rule that just escaped from the clutches of regulatory review might provide a clue.  Just yesterday, EPA ...

What We Will Be Listening for at the Howard Shelanski Confirmation Hearing

by Sidney Shapiro | June 11, 2013
The confirmation hearing for Howard Shelanski, President Obama’s pick to serve as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is set to take place Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.  If confirmed, Shelanski would become the Administration’s new “Regulatory Czar,” a description that indicates the significant influence OIRA’s administrator has concerning what agency rules look like and, indeed, whether those rules are issued at all. Shelanski’s confirmation hearing comes at ...

CPR Scholar Frank Ackerman on Secret Climate Cost Calculations: the Sequel

by Frank Ackerman | June 10, 2013
Three years later, it was time for a new episode.  Back in 2010, Congress listened to some climate-denial rants, counted votes, and decided to do absolutely nothing about climate change; this year on Capitol Hill, the magic continues. Also in 2010, the Obama administration released an estimate of “the social cost of carbon”` (SCC) – that is, the value of the damages done by emission of one more ton of carbon dioxide. Calculated by an anonymous task force that held ...

Robert Verchick Reacts to Congressional Letter on OIRA Delays

by Robert Verchick | June 06, 2013
Late Tuesday afternoon, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representatives Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell urging her to take "prompt action" to implement rules and regulations held up at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The letter notes that under Executive Order 12866, OIRA reviews of agency draft rules must be completed ...

Talking Through Their Hats: The Opposition to President Obama’s D.C. Circuit Court Nominees

by Sidney Shapiro | June 05, 2013
In the old television series, "Cheers," barfly and braggart Cliff Clavin was a guy who was forever "talking through his hat," offering up an endless supply of ridiculous factoids and explanations. Cliff made for good television, but the same cannot be said for the Senate Republicans who seem to be borrowing his approach. That's what's at work with the Republican effort to block President Obama’s nomination of three distinguished lawyers to fill longstanding vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of ...

Statement of CPR Scholar Sid Shapiro on President Obama's Nominations to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals

by Sidney Shapiro | June 04, 2013
Today, President Obama announced three nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The President nominated law professor Cornelia T.L. Pillard, appellate lawyer Patricia Ann Millett and federal district judge Robert L. Wilkins to the Court. The Court has had many longstanding vacancies, including one slot that was filled when the Senate confirmed Sri Srinivasan for the post in late May. If confirmed, the President's new nominations would fill all remaining vacancies. Below is Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Sidney ...

The FDA Doubles Down On Its Plan B Troubles

by Lisa Heinzerling | May 29, 2013
Cross-posted on ACSBlog. A panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has just taken under consideration the Food and Drug Administration’s motion for a stay of a district court order directing the agency to make levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptives available to women and girls of any age without a prescription and without other point-of-sale restrictions. In deliberating on this motion, the panel of judges should not, I am sorry to say, take anything the FDA has said in ...

Adapting to Climate Change: Seven Principles for Policy-Makers

by Jake Caldwell | May 29, 2013
The impacts of climate change do not fall equally. That is obvious on a global level, where low-lying countries, like Bangladesh and small island states, face inundation, while poor equatorial countries face devastating heat and droughts. It is less obvious, but still true, in the United States, where poor and marginalized communities without sufficient financial and social resources will face significant challenges adapting to the changing climate. While catastrophes appear to affect everyone equally, they are much harder on those who lack ...

What the White House Taketh Away, It Can Also Giveth: An Agenda for 'Regulatory Czar' Howard Shelanski's First 30 Days

by Rena Steinzor | May 23, 2013
As the scandal du jour over the pure lug-headedness of some IRS staffers reminds us, any screw-up, anywhere in the government, will make its way to the White House press briefing room in about a nanosecond of Internet real time. Suspicion is deeply bred into the press corps, and appropriately so. For that reason, the 2,000 or so people who directly serve on the President's White House staff, but who remain faceless to the rest of us, insist on maintaining control over ...

Farm Bill 2018: Down Payment on an Effective Conservation Title

Ristino | Jan 17, 2018 | Environmental Policy

A Final 2017 Dose of Op-Eds

Freeman | Dec 28, 2017 | Regulatory Policy

The Off-Switch Is Inside the Fenceline

Farber | Dec 27, 2017 | Energy

The Center for Progressive Reform

455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150-513
Washington, DC 20001
info@progressivereform.org
202.747.0698

© Center for Progressive Reform, 2015