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.

Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution

The term, “Cost-benefit analysis,” is used so frequently that we rarely stop to think about it. But relying on it can lead to some dubious conclusions, as Frank Ackerman points out in this eye-opening book. Inventing dollar values for human life and health, endangered species, and fragile ecosystems does not guide us to better policies, he maintains. Cost-benefit analysis, as practiced today, could have led to damming the Grand Canyon for hydroelectric power, leaving lead in gasoline, and other absurd and harmful decisions. In Poisoned for Pennies, Ackerman uses clear, understandable language to describe an alternative, precautionary approach to making decisions under uncertainty.

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Author(s): Frank Ackerman
Letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson re IRIS

Member Scholar Rena Steinzor and CPR Policy Analyst Matt Shudtz's April 27, 2008 letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson re the Integrated Risk Information System database

Type: Letters to Agencies (April 28, 2008)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Matt Shudtz
Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids

Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids, by Rena Steinzor, White Paper 801, May 2008, a summary of her book by the same name.

Type: Reports (April 16, 2008)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
Sidney Shapiro's testimony on the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 2008.

Sidney Shapiro's April 2, 2008, testimony before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 2008.

Type: Legislative Testimony (April 2, 2008)
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Author(s): Sidney Shapiro
David Vladeck's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Bush Administration's push for agency preemption of state tort laws.

David Vladeck's September 12, 2007, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Bush Administration's push for agency preemption of state tort laws.

Type: Legislative Testimony (Sept. 12, 2007)
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Author(s): David Vladeck
Markets, Monocultures, and Malnutrition: Agricultural Trade Policy through an Environmental Justice Lens

Markets, Monocultures, and Malnutrition: Agricultural Trade Policy through an Environmental Justice Lens, by Carmen G. Gonzalez, White Paper 702, April 2007.

Type: Reports (April 18, 2007)
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Author(s): Carmen Gonzalez
Sequestered Science: Secrets Threatening Public Health

Sequestered Science: Secrets Threatening Public Health, by Rena Steinzor and Matthew Shudtz, White Paper 703, April 2007.

Type: Reports (April 17, 2007)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Matt Shudtz
Closing Agency libraries deals serious blow

Closing Agency libraries deals serious blow, op-ed by Joel Mintz

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 11, 2006)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz, Rebecca Bratspies
Bush White House blocks information to EPA libraries

Bush White House blocks information to EPA libraries, op-ed by Joel Mintz and Rebecca Bratspies

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 6, 2006)
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Author(s): Rebecca Bratspies, Joel Mintz

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