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.

RBG 2nd page Sandbox

CPR's Member Scholars reflect on the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Type: Reports Read Online
Her Black Coffee Always Brewed Strong

CPR's Gillian Metzger, joins fellow Ruth Bader Ginsburg former clerk Abbe Gluck in a New York Times tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 22, 2020)
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Author(s): Gillian Metzger
Pandemic Spawns Dangerous Relaxation of Environmental Regulations

Writing in The Revelator, Joel Mintz and Victor Flatt explain that the Trump EPA's eagerness to waive environmental regulations during the pandemic has taken a toll. And they set forth a prescription for fixing the problem.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz, Victor Flatt
The Pandemic’s Toll on Science

CPR's Rena Steinzor, writing in The Regulatory Review, takes on conservatives' conspiracy-mongering around the so-called "Deep State." She writes: "No matter when President Trump walks out the door, his Administration has caused irreparable injury. Civil servants are demoralized. The civil service does not look like a promising career path for young scientists or other professionals who interpret, translate into policy, or defend scientists’ work. Unless leaders in politics, science, economics, law, and other relevant professions declare a cease fire, the damage could be with us for more than a generation."

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
Trump's deregulatory disregard for law and science

In an op-ed in The Hill, CPR's William Buzbee and co-authors take the Trump administration to task for its deregulatory disregard for law and science.

Type: Op-Eds (Aug. 31, 2020)
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Author(s): William Buzbee
The Trump Administration’s Latest Unconstitutional Power Grab

In the Regulatory Review, Robert Glicksman and Alejandro Camacho write that, the Trump administration's anti-environmental and anti-democratic practices converged in [its] recent revisions to the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.

Type: Op-Eds (Aug. 24, 2020)
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Author(s): Robert Glicksman, Alejandro Camacho
Beyond 12866: A Progressive Plan for Reforming the Regulatory System

Rebuilding our regulatory system is a key though often overlooked imperative for the broader progressive movement as it works to achieve its vision of a more equitable and just society. The rebuilding will ultimately require legislation, but considerable progress can be achieved through unilateral actions by the president, including executive orders. Building on its previous work to advance the cause of progressive regulatory reform, CPR is compiling on this page resources and materials that should inform the development of new executive orders for progressive regulation that would replace Executive Order 12866 and any subsequent executive orders and memoranda built on its framework.

Type: Reports (Aug. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
The Progressive Case Against Cost-Benefit Analysis

In James Goodwin's article on the workings of cost-benefit analysis, he writes, "In cost-benefit analysis, small government ideologues and corporate interests have fashioned a powerful weapon for attacking regulatory safeguards and undercutting landmark laws. Much of that power derives from the elaborate mythology that its proponents have woven around the methodology over the course of the past four decades.... For its supporters, the real genius of the cost-benefit analysis myth is that it distracts from the fact that the methodology is in fact neither neutral nor objective."

Type: Reports (Aug. 20, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
The Progressive Case Against OIRA

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs may be the most important group of bureaucrats many Americans have never heard of. But CPR's Member Scholars and staff keep careful watch on the office of the so-called "regulatory czar." Over the years, the office has come to play an increasingly destructive role in the regulatory process, weakening, gutting, and killing rules designed to protect health, safety and the environment. In this web article, James Goodwin lays out the case for a radical overhaul of OIRA's mission and methods.

Type: Reports (Aug. 6, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
CPR Comments on EPA's 'Benefits-Busting' Rule

On August 3, 2020, several CPR Member Scholars and staff joined in submitting comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “benefits-busting” proposal, designed to drastically overhaul how the agency performs cost-benefit analysis on its biggest Clean Air Act rules. The proposal is a thinly veiled effort to rig the results of those analyses – more so than they already are – to make it harder to issue appropriately strong safeguards, thereby sabotaging the effective and timely implementation of the Clean Air Act.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Aug. 3, 2020)
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Author(s): Catherine O'Neill, Sidney Shapiro, Amy Sinden, James Goodwin, Darya Minovi

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