Regulatory Policy

Regulatory safeguards play a vital role in protecting us from hazards and ensuring that companies that pollute, make unsafe products, and create workplace hazards bear the cost of cleaning up their messes and preventing injuries and deaths. Still, the regulatory system is far from perfect: Rules take too long to develop; enforcement is often feeble; and political pressure from regulated industries has led to weak safeguards.

These systemic problems are made all the more severe by the determination of the Trump administration to undercut sensible safeguards across virtually all aspects of federal regulation. Moreover, the President and his team have taken aim at the the process by which such safeguards are developed, aiming to take a system already slanted in favor of industry profit at the expense of health, safety and the environment, and make it even less protective. For example, where critics of the use of cost-benefit analysis see a system that understates the value of safeguards and overstates the cost of implementing them -- making it difficult to adopt needed protections -- the Trump administration seeks simply to ignore benefits of safeguards, pretending they do not exist. The result is a regulatory system that fails to enforce landmark laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and more.

CPR exposes and opposes efforts by opponents of sensible safeguards to undermine the regulatory system, fighting back against knee-jerk opposition to environmental, health, and safety protections. Below, see what CPR Members Scholars and staff have had to say in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

Comment to the U.S. EPA on Preventing Chemical Disasters and Cost-Benefit Analysis

In a comment to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CPR Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin urges the agency to use any eventual rulemaking within the Risk Management Program to rework how cost-benefit analysis is used to evaluate rules. Goodwin encourages EPA to work with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to take otherwise unquantifiable benefits into account and maximize protections from chemical disasters.

Type: Letters to Agencies (July 15, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Center for Progressive Reform Welcomes New Board Members

The Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) is pleased to announce three new members on its Board of Directors. Each brings a wealth of experience and unique perspectives to CPR and will enrich and strengthen the organization’s work toward racial justice and a sustainable planet. Joining the Board are Alejandro Camacho, a law professor and longtime CPR Member Scholar; Sekita Grant, a leader in environmental health and justice; and Ajulo Othow, a leader in equitable renewable energy solutions.

Type: News Releases (July 8, 2021)
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Author(s): Brian Gumm
Preventing "Double Disasters"

It’s past time to address “double disasters” — hazardous chemical releases by industrial facilities that are worsened by inadequate action in the face of conditions of climate change and natural disasters. As the global climate crisis intensifies, coastal and inland communities are increasingly at risk of natural disasters. When industrial facilities in these communities fail to adequately prepare for extreme storms, wildfires, earthquakes, heat waves, floods, rising sea levels, and other natural disasters, hazardous chemicals stored onsite can ignite, explode, and there may be dangerous and even catastrophic releases that threaten the health and safety of workers and the public. This can lead to a cascading series of harms, including toxic chemical exposures, on top of the effects of the storm itself. This brief spotlights this urgent issue, proposes policy solutions, and calls on federal leaders to take bold and prompt action to solve this problem.

Type: Reports (July 7, 2021)
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Author(s): David Flores, Darya Minovi
Department of Labor's Emergency Temporary Standard Too Weak to Protect All Workers from COVID-19

The Labor Department’s emergency COVID standard, released today, is too limited and weak to effectively protect all workers from the ongoing pandemic. Workers justifiably expected an enforceable general industry standard to protect them from COVID-19, and the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) has been calling for such a standard since June 2020. But what emerged after more than six weeks of closed-door White House review was a largely unenforceable voluntary guidance document, with only health care workers receiving the benefit of an enforceable standard.

Type: News Releases (June 10, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Joint Letter to President Biden and the EPA on Strengthening Select Air Pollution Standards

CPR joined dozens of public health, environmental, and other public interest organizations in urging the Biden White House and the EPA to strengthen air pollution standards for ozone and particulate matter. Both substances can cause or worsen a wide range of serious health problems, including asthma, other lung diseases, and cardiovascular conditions.

Type: Letters to Agencies (June 10, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Making Regulations Work for All: A Webinar on Biden’s First 100 Days

On Wednesday, May 5, CPR held a webinar assessing the Biden-Harris administration’s early moves on reforming how the federal government creates standards and safeguards — both to undo the damaging legacy of the Trump administration and to build a foundation for making regulations work for all people and our planet.

Type: Webinars (May 5, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Now That Earmarks Are Back, It's Time to Ban 'Poison Pill' Riders

Making Congress functional again is having a moment. The debates over ending the filibuster and legislation to prevent hyper-partisan congressional districts have received the most attention in this space so far. But lawmakers did quietly take an important step forward on mending congressional dysfunction when they reinstated the practice of earmarking the federal budget, reversing a decade-old ban. Lawmakers should build on this fix to the budget process by cracking down on "poison pill" appropriations riders, a gimmick that proliferated in the vacuum left by the earmark ban.

Type: Op-Eds (April 24, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Attention, Lawmakers -- Regulation Is More Popular Than You Think

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.

Type: Op-Eds (March 2, 2021)
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Author(s): Sidney Shapiro
Voters Strongly Support Government Regulation to Protect Climate, Health, and Future Generations

A poll conducted by the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) and Data for Progress in January 2021 finds broad public support for a progressive climate agenda that relies on regulatory action, even if it means slower economic growth. It also shows that the public opposes the process the government currently uses to assess the costs and benefits of regulations because it undervalues clean air, safe water, and a healthy climate. Poll results and analysis are available below.

Type: Reports (Feb. 25, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Biden Has the Power to Restore Good Governance

Since taking office, President Biden has pursued an active agenda to address many urgent matters that require his prompt attention. Writing for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar Robert Glicksman and colleague Richard Levy hope one important initiative does not get lost in transition: restoring the norms of good governance.

Type: Op-Eds (Feb. 20, 2021)
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Author(s): Robert Glicksman

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