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.
On the Center for American Progress website, Douglas Kysar writes that "Conservative lawmakers and right-wing policy institutes would have us believe that one of the most pressing issues facing the nation today is the problem of 'regulation through litigation.' Across the country, power-hungry officials are said to be conspiring with greedy lawyers and activist judges to pursue regulatory agendas that have not, or could not, be successfully achieved through legislative channels. Given this relentless conservative refrain, it was surprising to learn that the latest example of 'regulation through litigation' was launched by Cornyn's successor as Texas state attorney general, Greg Abbott...."
Writing for The Regulatory Review, Rena Steinzor and Wendy Wagner observe that "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt recently opened another front in his battle to redirect the agency away from its mission to protect human health and the environment. This time, he cobbled together a proposed rule that would drastically change how science is considered during the regulatory process."
"No matter how many times the word, 'transparency,' is repeated to characterize" a Trump administration proposal on the use of science in regulation, "its effects would reverse progress," write Rena Steinzor and Wedny Wagner on The Regulatory Review's pages.
Writing for The American Prospect, Rena Steinzor observes that a burgeoning and little-regulated private industry that specially mixes drugs at so-called compounding pharmacies poses a public-health hazard that the Trump administration will only make worse.
Writing for the Huffington Post, Rena Steinzor and Dan Dudis point to a recent wave of corporate criminality -- from the Wells Fargo fake account scandal to the Volkswagen scheme to evade air pollution standards -- and call for criminal prosecutions of companies and their leaders.