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.

Time for a Regulatory Revival

Time for a Regulatory Revival, op-ed by Rena Steinzor

Type: Op-Eds (June 18, 2010)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the Public

Reasonable people disagree about the reach of the federal government, but almost everyone believes the government should protect us from such dangers as bacteria-infested food, harmful drugs, toxic pollution, crumbling bridges, and unsafe toys. And yet, the agencies that shoulder these responsibilities are in shambles; if they continue to decline, lives will be lost, money wasted, and natural resources squandered. In their 2010 book, The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the Public: Special Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment, Rena Steinzor and Sidney Shapiro take a hard look at the tangled web of problems that have led to the dire state of the American regulatory structure.

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Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Sidney Shapiro
Letter to White House Counsel re ongoing violations of presidential executive orders by OIRA

Letter from several CPR Member Scholars to White House Counsel re three ongoing violations of presidential executive orders by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: 1) continuing review of agency guidance documents; 2) exceeding deadlines for completing reviews; 3) failing to disclose "before and after" documents allowing public scrutiny of OIRA revisions to rules

Type: Letters to Agencies (March 17, 2010)
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Author(s): Robert Glicksman, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, Amy Sinden, Rena Steinzor
Beyond Environmental Law: Policy Proposals for a Better Environmental Future

Nearly half a century after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring helped launch the modern environmental movement, the nation’s environmental statutes are showing signs of age. New challenges have arisen – climate change, most notably, but others that also threaten the safety of the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat and more. In their new book, Beyond Environmental Law: Policy Proposals for a Better Environmental Future, CPR Member Scholars David Driesen and Alyson Flournoy compile original chapter contributions by leading environmental scholars assessing how to craft effective environmental standards to combat the environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Published in March 2010 by Cambridge University Press, Beyond Environmental Law proposes two new statutes: an Environmental Legacy Act to preserve a defined environmental legacy for future generations, and an Environmental Competition Statute to spark movement to new clean technologies. The first proposal would require for the first time that the federal government define an environmental legacy that it must preserve for future generations. The second would establish a market competition to maximize environmental protection.

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Author(s): Alyson Flournoy, David Driesen
CPR Member Scholars letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Toyota safety recall

CPR Member Scholars Rena Steinzor and Sidney Shapiro's letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee re the failure of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to address in a timely fashion engineering failures in certain Toyota models

Type: Letters to Agencies (Feb. 9, 2010)
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Author(s): Sidney Shapiro, Rena Steinzor
January 14, 2010, Obama Regulatory Efforts Earned Mixed Review

Obama Regulatory Efforts Earned Mixed Review

Type: News Releases (Jan. 14, 2010)
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Editorial Memo on the Obama Administration's Forthcoming Executive Order on Regulatory Process
Editorial Memo: The Obama Administration's Forthcoming Executive Order on Regulatory Process, by Rena Steinzor and Robert Glicksman
Type: Editorial Memos (Nov. 20, 2009)
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Letter to OIRA on 2009 OMB Report to Congress

Comments to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on 2009 OMB Report to Congress re the costs and benefits of regulation, by Amy Sinden, Rena Steinzor and James Goodwin

Type: Letters to Agencies (Nov. 5, 2009)
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Author(s): Amy Sinden, Rena Steinzor, James Goodwin
Fifty FDAs: An Argument for Federal Preemption of State Tort Law that Is Less than Meets the Eye
Type: Reports (Oct. 28, 2009)
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Author(s): William Buzbee, Bill Funk, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, James Goodwin, Matt Shudtz

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