Today, the Hill published an op-ed by CPR Vice President Sid Shapiro entitled, "In Defense of Regulation."
According to the piece:
The responsible scholarly literature — as opposed to calculations cooked by business-friendly think tanks — has refuted the opponents’ claims of regulatory costs far in excess of the benefits of regulation. The same literature reminds us that not regulating also has costs — costs paid by the American public rather than by regulatory entities.
Consider the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-delayed revisions to air quality standards required by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. If it succeeds, and if the anti-regulation forces in Congress don’t derail it, the rules are projected to save 237,000 lives by 2020. If the rules are delayed further or scuttled altogether, that’s the cost of inaction — actual lives lost due to air-pollution-related illness.
Then there’s climate change. We’ve tried inaction, and the problem has grown more severe. Congress has failed to act, with the same forces opposed to regulation leading the charge against a law tailored to the specific causes of climate change. So it is left to the EPA and others to use existing statutory authority to reduce our …
Earlier this week, Roll Call published an op-ed by CPR Scholars Thomas O. McGarity and Wendy Wagner entitled, "Toxics Control Bill Will Handcuff EPA."
The piece concludes:
In our decades of research and writing on tort law and environmental regulation, we have never seen a pre-emption provision that intrudes more deeply into the civil litigation system at the state level than the one in this bill. If victims of toxic chemical exposure attempt to recover damages at the state level, their cases would have to be dismissed if the EPA had concluded — rightly or wrongly — that a chemical was safe.
For example, Hurricane Katrina victims who were housed in formaldehyde-contaminated Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers successfully sued the trailer manufacturers for damages. Under this bill, if the EPA found that formaldehyde passed its safety test, those families would be denied even their day in court.
Reform of …
Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar and University of Texas School of Law professor David Adelman has written an article for the Indiana Law Journal entitled,"The Collective Origins of Toxic Air Pollution: Implications for Greenhouse Gas Trading and Toxic Hotspots." According to the abstract:
This Article presents the first synthesis of geospatial data on toxic air pollution in the United States. Contrary to conventional views, the data show that vehicles and small stationary sources emit a majority of the air toxics nationally. Industrial sources, by contrast, rarely account for more than ten percent of cumulative cancer risks from all outdoor sources of air toxics. This pattern spans multiple spatial scales, ranging from census tracts to the nation as a whole. However, it is most pronounced in metropolitan areas, which have the lowest air quality and are home to eighty percent of the U.S. population.
Yesterday, The Hill published an opinion piece by Center for Progressive Reform President Rena Steinzor entitled, "Regulatory backlog threatens health and the environment."
According to Steinzor:
Opponents of regulation also seek to undermine the very legitimacy of agency rulemaking by fostering public hostility toward government and belittling life-saving regulation as “red tape.” What results is the gross politicization of the regulatory process, resulting in long delays and weaker rules, as measured in lives and health. For example, the cost of the recent eight-month delay of the EPA’s ozone rule is projected to be somewhere between 1,000 and 2,867 premature deaths. The simple truth is that cries of "over-regulation" from industry and its allies in Congress are hooey. Having lost pitched battles in Congress over adoption of various environmental, health, and safety laws, they're simply re-litigating their case, hoping to undermine the rules that …
The following guest post is contributed by Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH. Dr. Monforton is an Assistant Research Professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
Finally! After far too much hullabaloo about the cost of regulations, there was a U.S. Senate hearing today on why public health regulations are important, and how delays by Congress and the Administration have serious negative consequences for people’s lives. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called the hearing entitled “Justice Delayed: The Human Cost of Regulatory Paralysis,” the first one conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s newly created Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action. The witnesses included a parent-turned advocate for automobile safety, AFL-CIO director of safety and health Peg Seminario, and law professor Rena Steinzor of the Center for Progressive Reform.
Steinzor kicked off her testimony with a short litany of regulatory …
Today, Center for Progressive Reform President Rena Steinzor will testify at a Senate Hearing hosted by the Judiciary Committee entitled "Justice Delayed: the Human Cost of Regulatory Paralysis."
Steinzor's testimony can be read in full here.
According to her testimony:
The subcommittee deserves tremendous credit for airing the truth about the public health regulations that agencies are writing as directed by Congress. The costs of delay are as real as they should be unnecessary, given the clear mandates of the law. Unfortunately, the overwhelming clout of Fortune 100 companies and their relentless, self-serving effort to ignore the great benefits provided by these essential protections has dominated the airwaves.
One does not need to look far to see how essential regulations are. Just ask anyone whose life was saved by a seat belt, whose children escaped brain damage because the EPA took lead out of gas, who …
Last week, The Hill published an opinion piece by Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Robert Verchick.
The piece entitled, "Politics and progress: Will the White House stall its own climate change plans?" can be read here.
According to Verchick:
Under its statutory authority, EPA has ample power to write rules limiting power plant emissions, for example. But since the Reagan administration, all “major” rules—those seen as important to national policy—have been funneled into a little-known process of review, conducted by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). It may be the most important government office you've never heard of —the depot through which all regulatory freight must pass, the ganglia of the president’s rulemaking.
By executive order, OIRA is required to review submitted agency proposals within 90 days. For the most part, past administrations have kept up the pace …
This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee is expected to advance the "Energy Consumer Relief Act" for consideration. The Act would allow the head of the Department of Energy to veto any rules promulgated by the EPA with estimated "costs" of over $1 billion.
Center for Progressive Reform President Rena Steinzor testified against the bill in April at a Legislative Hearing.
Below is Steinzor's reaction to the Committee's movement of the Act:
The deceptively named, "Energy Consumer Relief Act" would effectively subsidize billion-dollar energy companies for their contamination of the environment at the expense of consumers suffering with pollution-related diseases like heart disease and asthma. The EPA has repeatedly been hamstrung by a regulatory process focused on cost-benefit analysis that estimates the lives of Americans in dollars and cents. This Act would effectively kneecap the Agency's remaining ability to protect citizens against damaging …
Last night, the Senate confirmed Howard Shelanski as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget.
As we've written about before, the confirmation of Shelanski as head of OIRA comes at a criticial juncture. OIRA is tasked with reviewing rules proposed by federal agencies. Presently, of the 139 rules under review at OIRA, 71 are well beyond the 90-day review limit imposed by Executive Order 12866. Below is Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Sidney Shapiro's reaction to the confirmation:
Now that he's been approved, Administrator Shelanski must begin the critical task of reinvigorating our calcified regulatory system. From clearing the backlog of overdue regulations stuck at OIRA in violation of the required deadline for finishing review to working with other Administration officials to identify ways to help implement President Obama's climate plan, thenew …
Yesterday, The Hill published an opinion piece by Center for Progressive Reform President Rena Steinzor.
The piece, entitled, "Toxic chemical bill trumps state rights" can be read here.
We read with dismay… the drastic provisions of legislation authored by Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) deceptively entitled the Chemical Safety “Improvement” Act. This misguided effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA, pronounced TOSCA like the opera) would make all federal rulemaking “determinative” of toxic chemical exposure limits, thereby freezing in their tracks state efforts to pass standards that are more stringent than what the beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has managed to cough up. Never mind that certain kinds of chemical pollution are far worse in some states than they are at the national level, and forget the notion that democracy is strongest when citizens are closer to …