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  1. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Rule: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone [Download]

    Title: The Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Rule: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone
    Author: Cox, Louis Anthony (Tony), Jr.
    Description: The Clean Air Act directs the EPA Administrator to set “primary,” or health-based, NAAQS at levels that are “requisite to protect the public health … allowing an adequate margin of safety,” based on “air quality criteria [that] shall accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of all identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the presence of such pollutant in the ambient air, in varying quantities.” §108(a)(2) It further requires the Administrator to set “secondary” (welfare-based) standards basedon these criteria at a level “requisite to protect the public welfare from any known or anticipated adverse effects.” (This comment focuses exclusively on the primary standard.)
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Policy, Public Interest, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  2. Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) [Download]

    Title: Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)
    Author: Taylor, Blake
    Description: This Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or “Bureau”) proposed rule would extend various consumer protections to prepaid account products. Protections for traditional bank account and credit products now exist through Regulation E, which governs electronic funds transfers, and Regulation Z, which governs the use of consumer credit. However, prepaid accounts such as debit cards that can be pre-loaded with funds are currently unregulated. CFPB proposes to amend Regulation E and Regulation Z to apply existing and new protections to these relatively new financial products by imposing various information disclosure, limited liability, error resolution, and consumer credit requirements. Although this comment provides an overview of the proposed rule’s requirements, its statutory authority for doing so, and an analysis of its consideration of regulatory principles, the main focus is an analysis of CFPB’s information disclosure requirements.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Policy, Public Interest, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  3. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed Rule: Discrimination on the Basis of Sex [Download]

    Title: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed Rule: Discrimination on the Basis of Sex
    Author: White, Lynn
    Description: In the proposed rule, the DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) asserts that since the Sex Discrimination Guidelines were first issued in 1970, there have been “historic changes to sex discrimination law, in both statutory and case law, and to contractor policies and practices as a result of the nature and extent of women’s participation in the labor force.” As such, the OFCCP issued the proposed rule to “revise the Sex Discrimination Guidelines to align the sex discrimination standards under Executive Order 11246 with developments and interpretations of existing title VII principles and the OFCCP’s corresponding interpretation of the Executive Order.” The proposed rule would eliminate the existing Guidelines and replace them with regulations “with the full force and effect of law." The proposal would remove outdated provisions in the Guidelines, clarify others, and add new protections that have been established since 1970.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Policy, Public Interest, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  4. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Proposed Rule: Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems [Download]

    Title: The Federal Aviation Administration’s Proposed Rule: Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
    Author: Taylor, Blake
    Description: This Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal would allow small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate in the National Airspace System (NAS) pursuant to specific limitations and standards, which address small UAS operation, operator certification, and registration. Small UAS currently may not operate for non-recreational (i.e. commercial) purposes in the NAS. By allowing commercial small UAS to operate, the FAA expects to enable businesses to use small UAS to improve the efficiency of existing enterprises. Although the FAA foresees “potential societally beneficial applications of small UAS,” it intends to integrate them in a way that poses minimal public risk.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  5. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Rule Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2017 [Download]

    Title: The Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Rule Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2017
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: As a part of its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing biofuel blending targets for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The RFS requires refiners to blend specific amounts of renewable fuels into transportation fuel, such as gasoline and diesel. The RFS program was created in 2005 to reduce both American dependence on foreign oil and domestic gasoline consumption. The RFS program “was created to promote substantial, sustained growth in biofuel production and consumption” resulting in “reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced energy security, economic development, and technological innovation.” To that end, this proposal would mandate the production of 17.4 billion gallons of total renewable fuel in 2016, an 850 million gallon increase from the last published standards promulgated for 2013.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administratie Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  6. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Draft Regulatory Basis: Financial Qualifications for Reactor Licensing [Download]

    Title: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Draft Regulatory Basis: Financial Qualifications for Reactor Licensing
    Author: Brock, Gerald W.
    Description: This comment on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Draft Regulatory Basis regarding financial qualifications for reactor licensing does not represent the views of any particular affected party or special interest, but is designed to evaluate the effect of the NRC’s proposal on overall consumer welfare. Although the current NRC materials do not place this proceeding in the context of President Obama’s retrospective review order, this is a good example of retrospective review. The NRC has observed that the link between the current financial requirements and the regulatory goal of increased safety is weak to non-existent and that non-regulated merchant plants find the current rules particularly burdensome.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  7. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Proposed Rule: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2 [Download]

    Title: The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Proposed Rule: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2
    Author: Mannix, Brian F.
    Description: In response to a directive from President Obama,3 and using their respective statutory authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have jointly proposed a set of standards to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and (almost equivalently) fuel efficiency for medium and heavy-duty engines and vehicles. In contrast to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards that NHTSA has long administered, the vehicles covered by the current proposal are almost entirely commercial vehicles used by businesses – not by households.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  8. EPA’s Proposed Rule: Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Electric Utility Generating Units [Download]

    Title: EPA’s Proposed Rule: Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Electric Utility Generating Units
    Author: Mannix, Brian F.
    Description: The questions or whether to develop a “mass-based” or “rate-based” emissions trading program under that rule arise in the context of EPA’s EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan or Federal Implementation Plans, so we are re-filing the comment in the current docket for the Agency’s consideration. The comment concludes that a rate-based trading program, similar to the EPA’s successful program for trading lead in gasoline in the 1980s, has compelling advantages over a mass-based program.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  9. Public Interest Comment on The Office of Management and Budget’s 2015 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations [Download]

    Title: Public Interest Comment on The Office of Management and Budget’s 2015 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: OMB’s 2015 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations (the Report) provides the public valuable information both on estimates of the effects of major executive branch regulations and also on OMB’s focus and priorities. It also offers valuable recommendations that we agree “would allow for impact assessments to be more evidence-based, logically sound, and effectively communicated.” This comment focuses on several topics covered in the Report, offers suggestions for improving retrospective review as a means to improve ex ante regulatory decisions, and raises questions about the private benefits associated with energy efficiency standards and the co-benefits attributed to some air quality standards.
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017
  10. Are future lives worth more, today, than our own – simply because of income growth? [Download]

    Title: Are future lives worth more, today, than our own – simply because of income growth?
    Author: Mannix, Brian
    Description: The charge questions that EPA has presented to the EEAC for consideration this week relate to the analytical foundations of a procedure for estimating the value of statistical lives saved in the future – possibly the distant future – as a result of regulations imposed today. Reductions in future mortality and morbidity are certainly important, and the valuation of these benefits can be challenging. Intertwined with the detailed analytical questions, however, is a fundamental ethical and methodological question: Is it right to force a relatively poor population to pay an inflated price – higher than they are willing to pay to save their own lives – to save the lives of a richer population, on the theory that rich people’s lives are more valuable?
    Keywords: Regulation, Administrative Law, Economic Analysis, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Public Comments
    Date Uploaded: 10/04/2017