According to media accounts, President Obama today nominated Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein to be the director of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs — the so-called "regulatory czar." CPR President Rena Steinzor reacts to the news:
I welcome Cass Sunstein’s nomination to be the Obama Administration’s regulatory czar. His past support for cost-benefit analysis as a method of regulatory impact analysis – even as practiced by the Bush Administration – raises a host of questions about the direction in which he’ll lead the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The core issue: will Sunstein’s OIRA allow cost-benefit to continue to be a stumbling block for much-needed regulatory protections for health, safety and the environment? Will OIRA be a place where needed regulations get watered down and bottled up? Or, as I hope, will Professor Sunstein put his years of study of the issue and his prodigious intellect to the all-important task of repairing the tattered framework of the nation’s regulations?
What with poisoned peanuts, lead-laden paint on children’s toys, a variety of toxics in our air and water, and more, we have no shortage of evidence that we need to once again get serious about protective regulations. I hope Professor Sunstein not only shares that view but is determined to help the nation’s regulatory agencies do the job the American people expect of them.