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.

CPR Letter to OMB Re Comment Extension During Coronavirus

In March 2020, with the full implications of the novel coronavirus just coming into view, CPR Member Scholars and staff wrote to the Office of Management and Budget calling on OMB to direct all executive branch agencies to hold open all active comment periods for their pending rulemakings as long as the COVID-19 declaration of national emergency remains in effect.

Type: Letters to Agencies (March 18, 2020)
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Author(s): William Andreen, Rebecca Bratspies, Alejandro Camacho, Gilonne d'Origny, Michael C. Duff, Heather Elliott, David Flores, Alyson Flournoy, Bill Funk, Robert Glicksman, Carmen Gonzalez, James Goodwin, Michele Janin, Sarah Krakoff, Thomas McGarity, Darya Minovi, Joel Mintz, Dave Owen, Laurie Ristino, Matt Shudtz, Karen Sokol, Rena Steinzor, Steph Tai, Katie Tracy, Sandra Zellmer
From border security to climate change, national emergency declarations raise hard questions about presidential power

"Presidential emergency powers could provide useful tools for addressing climate change, but taking this route sets an important precedent," Dan Farber writes for The Conversation. "If presidents increasingly make free use of emergency powers to achieve policy goals, this approach could become the new normal – with a serious potential for abuse of power and ill-considered decisions."

Type: Op-Eds (March 10, 2020)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber
EPA Enforcement in Distress — and More Trouble Is Brewing

Writing in The Revelator, CPR's Joel Mintz describes yet another White House effort to weaken environmental safeguards, this time by "quietly and ominously ask[ing] polluters to help identify new opportunities for deregulation."

Type: Op-Eds (Feb. 24, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
Trump Is Trying to Cripple the Environment and Democracy

Writing in The Hill, Robert Glicksman and Alejandro Camacho dissect the Trump administration's latest effort to enfeeble environmental protections, this time by devising new regulations intended to undercut the National Environment Policy Act.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 18, 2020)
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Author(s): Robert Glicksman, Alejandro Camacho
Did a Federal Ethics Loophole Worsen the Vaping Crisis

The lax federal ethics policies on the revolving door between government and industry may have contributed to the vaping crisis, Matt Shudtz and Jeff Hauser write in an op-ed in The Regulatory Review.

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 23, 2019)
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Author(s): Matt Shudtz
Webinar: Achieving Social Justice Through Better Regulation

Following up on CPR's June 2019 Regulation as Social Justice Conference, and the subsequent report on it, on December 11, 2019, Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and CPR's Amy Sinden and James Goodwin discussed the future of regulation, and how it can do a better job of serving the interests of the political dispossessed.

Type: Webinars (Dec. 11, 2019)
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Author(s): Amy Sinden, James Goodwin
The rise and quick fall of the West tragedy's EPA rule

The rise and quick fall of the West tragedy's EPA rule, by Thomas McGarity, December 7, 2019, in The Waco Tribune

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 7, 2019)
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Author(s): Thomas McGarity
The Port Neches disaster shows the risk of Trump rolling back environmental regulations

The Port Neches disaster shows the risk of Trump rolling back environmental regulations, by Thomas McGarity, December 5, 2019, The Dallas Morning News

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 5, 2019)
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Author(s): Thomas McGarity
The Trump Administration's Insult to West, Texas

The Trump Administration's Insult to West, Texas, by Thomas McGarity, December 1, 2019, The Austin American-Statesman

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 1, 2019)
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Author(s): Thomas McGarity
With Port Neches burning, do we really think gutting the EPA is wise

With Port Neches burning, do we really think gutting the EPA is wise?, by Thomas McGarity, November 29, 2019, The Houston Chronicle

Type: Op-Eds (Nov. 29, 2019)
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Author(s): Thomas McGarity

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