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.

Robert R.M. Verchick's February 25, 2004, testimony on OMB's 2004 Draft report to Congress on regulation

Robert R.M. Verchick's February 25, 2004, testimony to the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs on OMB's 2004 Draft report to Congress on the costs and benefits of regulation

Type: Legislative Testimony (Feb. 25, 2004)
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Author(s): Robert Verchick
Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

As absurd as it sounds to express the value of human lives, the environment, or conservation in dollars and cents, cost-benefit analysis requires it. Embraced by a growing number of politicians, economic analysts and conservative pundits as the most reasonable way to make decisions on proposed regulations, cost-benefit analysis attempts to convert all relevant factors into monetary terms. Written by economist CPR Member Scholars Frank Ackerman, economist at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, and Lisa Heinzerling, professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, Priceless is a combative, no-holds-barred debunking of cost-benefit analysis and the derelict logic used to defend it.

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Author(s): Lisa Heinzerling, Frank Ackerman
Data Quality Or Scientific Censorship?

Data Quality Or Scientific Censorship?, op-ed by John Applegate, Don Hornstein, Thomas O. McGarity, Sid Shapiro, RenaSteinzor, and Wendy Wagner, published in Risk Policy Report

Type: Op-Eds (Oct. 14, 2003)
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Author(s): Donald Hornstein, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, Rena Steinzor, Wendy Wagner
September 16, 2003: CPR's Steinzor Raps EPA for Enforcement Failures; Steinzor: 'EPA's Enforcement Program is Falling Apart'

CPR's Steinzor Raps EPA for Enforcement Failures; Steinzor: 'EPA's Enforcement Program is Falling Apart'

Type: News Releases (Sept. 16, 2003)
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CPR Perspective: Cost-Benefit Analysis: Pricing the Priceless: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Health, Safety, and Environmental Protection

CPR Perspective: Cost-Benefit Analysis by Frank Ackerman and Lisa Heinzerling. CPR's Perspectives Series is a set of monographs by CPR Member Scholars on timely and important health, safety, and environmental topics. Each Perspective provides a thumbnail sketch of the competing arguments concerning a substantive or procedural principle for developing appropriate health, safety and environmental policies, and closes with the Member Scholar-author's proposed approach to the issue.

Type: Reports (Jan. 1, 2003)
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Author(s): Frank Ackerman, Lisa Heinzerling
CPR Perspective: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, Risk-Risk Analysis, and Other 'Cost-Benefit Cousins'

Center for Progressive Reform Perspective by Douglas Kysar on cost-benefit analysis and its "cousins." CPR's Perspectives Series is a set of monographs by CPR Member Scholars on timely and important health, safety, and environmental topics. Each Perspective provides a thumbnail sketch of the competing arguments concerning a substantive or procedural principle for developing appropriate health, safety and environmental policies, and closes with the Member Scholar-author's proposed approach to the issue.

Type: Reports (Jan. 1, 2003)
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Author(s): Douglas Kysar

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