Reports & Papers

CPR White Papers and Issue Alerts offer timely and thoughtful analysis on current policy issues, spanning the full range of environmental, health, safety and regulatory issues.

Voters Strongly Support Government Regulation to Protect Climate, Health, and Future Generations

A poll conducted by the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) and Data for Progress in January 2021 finds broad public support for a progressive climate agenda that relies on regulatory action, even if it means slower economic growth. It also shows that the public opposes the process the government currently uses to assess the costs and benefits of regulations because it undervalues clean air, safe water, and a healthy climate. Poll results and analysis are available below.

Type: Reports (Feb. 25, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Restoring Scientific Integrity to the Regulatory System Means Overhauling Cost-Benefit

In his latest article on the need for regulatory reform, James Goodwin writes that overhauling cost-benefit analysis is crucial to restoring scientific integrity. He writes, "blind-to-reality calculations are sadly commonplace in the practice of the unique form of cost-benefit analysis that now dominates in the U.S. regulatory system. Defenders of the approach claim that it makes regulatory decision-making more 'rational' and insulates the process against improper political or subjective considerations. Yet ... the methodological techniques this form of cost-benefit analysis uses can be arbitrary, unscientific, ethically dubious, and at times even absurd."

Type: Reports (Oct. 28, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Cost-Benefit Analysis Is Racist

In this web article, James Goodwin describes the ways that cost-benefit analysis as used in the regulatory process perpetuates racial injustice and reinforces race-based inequities.

Type: Reports (Oct. 9, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
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
The Trump Administration's Rulemaking Delays (chart)

The July 3, 2017, decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Clean Air Council v. Pruitt renewed interest in the many rules that the Trump administration has delayed. In response, CPR Member Scholar Rena Steinzor and University of Maryland law student Elise Desiderio prepared a chart listing and describing every rule for which a Federal Register notice was published announcing a delay in either the effective date or the compliance date or both. The delays listed involve postponements beyond July 14, 2017. The list covers the period from January 20, 2017 to July 14, 2017.

Type: Reports (July 17, 2017)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Elise Desiderio
Trump's New 'Regulatory Czar': Poised to Lead the Assault on Our Safeguards

Trump's New 'Regulatory Czar': Poised to Lead the Assault on Our Safeguards, CPR Paper 1701. The report by CPR Member Scholars Thomas McGarity, Amy Sinden, Rena Steinzor, and Robert Verchick, and CPR Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin, examines Neomi Rao’s background and concludes the her modest record of “scholarship and other public statements reflect a deep distrust of federal agencies and their role as policymaking institutions within our constitutional system of government.”

Type: Reports (April 20, 2017)
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Author(s): Amy Sinden, Rena Steinzor, Robert Verchick, Thomas McGarity, James Goodwin
OIRA 101: The Most Powerful Government Agency You've Never Heard Of

Read CPR's backgrounder on the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Type: Reports (May 4, 2016)
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