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Allison Stevens, David Driesen, James Goodwin, Sidney A. Shapiro, Thomas McGarity | November 21, 2022
We asked several of our Member Scholars how the midterm election outcomes will affect policy going forward in our three priority policy areas. Today’s post covers the implications for regulations.
M. Isabelle Chaudry, Sidney A. Shapiro | September 26, 2022
As Cole Porter crooned in 1948, “It’s too darn hot.” California and other parts of the American West are heading into another week of excessive heat that not only threatens public health and safety but also power shortages, which would cut millions off from the energy they need to fuel their lives. Workers, particularly those […]
Brian Gumm, Minor Sinclair, Robert L. Glicksman, Sidney A. Shapiro | April 18, 2022
We're sad to share the news that long-time Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Dale Goble passed away at his home on April 14. Scholars and staff alike appreciated his warm presence at our scholars' meetings, and he brought a wealth of knowledge to the fields of wildlife and conservation law. When the founders of CPR were reaching out to the nation's leading progressive scholars, we were so pleased that Dale agreed to join. His humanity, his dedication to protecting public lands and wildlife, and his participation in CPR will be sorely missed.
Sidney A. Shapiro | March 14, 2022
When it comes to historically marginalized groups, an “out of sight and out of mind” approach has too often infected agency policymaking. Agencies have responded with outreach to marginalized communities, but regulatory policymaking is hardly inclusive. Last January, President Biden required the government to increase engagement “with community-based organizations and civil rights organizations,” and the Administrative Conference of the United States responded with a multiday forum on underserved communities and the regulatory process. Addressing the lack of participation by marginalized communities in regulatory decision-making is crucial, but there is another fundamental issue. The input of marginalized communities will not matter if agencies ignore or devalue it because these insights are not expressed using the standard narratives of policymaking.
Sidney A. Shapiro | February 14, 2022
When the Wake Forest University emergency communications systems called me at 12:01 am on Tuesday, February 1, I could not have guessed that it was about a chemical bomb capable of wiping out blocks and blocks of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The call warned university students to heed the city’s voluntary evacuation of the 6,500 people living within in a one-mile radius of the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant that was on fire — and in danger of exploding. Thankfully, the fire did not injure anyone, and the bomb did not ignite.
Melissa Lutrell, Sidney A. Shapiro | August 17, 2021
The surging COVID-19 delta variant is sending thousands of people to the hospital, killing others, and straining several states' hospital systems to their breaking point. The climate crisis is hurting people, communities and countries as we write this piece, with apocalyptic wildfires, crippling droughts and raging floodwaters. Systemic racism continues unabated, leading to vast economic and environmental injustices. It's beyond time for urgent action, but to get there, the federal government must reform the opaque, biased method it uses to evaluate our nation's public health, economic and environmental protections.
James Goodwin, Sidney A. Shapiro | March 23, 2021
To paraphrase French economist Thomas Piketty, the task of evaluating new regulations is too important to leave to just economists. Yet, since the 1980s, White House-supervised regulatory impact analysis has privileged economic efficiency as the primary and often only legitimate objective of federal regulation. The regulatory reform initiative launched by President Joseph R. Biden on his first day in office creates an opportunity to reorient regulatory analysis in ways that both reformers and the public support.
Sidney A. Shapiro | March 3, 2021
Amid the Sturm und Drang (storm and stress) of politics these days, one fact stands out — a large majority of Americans want more regulatory protection in a wide variety of areas, according to a recent poll of likely voters. The results are consistent with previous polls that indicate that Americans understand the importance of government regulation in protecting them from financial and health risks beyond their control. They also indicate majority support for efforts by the Biden administration to renew government regulation — as well as a stark repudiation of former President Trump’s extreme anti-regulatory agenda.
Sidney A. Shapiro | August 12, 2020
Regulatory agencies do not appear to be permeated by overt racism, but structural or institutional racism exists if bias is built into existing institutions. We tend to think of administrative procedures as being neutral between competing points of view, but as the environmental justice movement (EJ) keeps reminding us, this is not necessarily so. It is no secret, for example, that the rulemaking process is dominated by corporate interests, and the same is true of the lobbying that occurs at agencies. Environmental and other public interest groups are hard pressed to match this advocacy. Less noticed is that the fact that there is little or no participation by marginalized communities in rulemaking, although as the pandemic has taught us, our most disadvantaged citizens are the ones that bear the brunt of inadequate government protections. Efforts to reach out and speak to such communities are simply not a regular part of rulemaking practice. True, there is no legal barrier to such participation, but there are considerable structural and economic barriers, which we simply overlook. The administrative process can be more inclusive, and it is time, past time really, to have a discussion how to make it so.