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  1. New Paper on the Precautionary Principle [Download]

    Title: New Paper on the Precautionary Principle
    Author: Dudley, Susan
    Description: A new issue paper from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), released Monday, finds that while the “precautionary principle” (PP) “has superficial appeal on initial impression, …when put to the test [it] actually lacks the substance and content necessary to guide realistic risk decision making.”
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Regulatory studies, Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  2. Congressional Hearing: Reducing Unnecessary & Costly Red Tape through Smarter Regulations [Download]

    Title: Congressional Hearing: Reducing Unnecessary & Costly Red Tape through Smarter Regulations
    Author: Pino, Tatiana
    Description: On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee held a hearing on “Reducing Unnecessary and Costly Red Tape through Smarter Regulations.” The bipartisan Committee is evenly divided among members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. The witnesses included Professor Susan Dudley, Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center; Dr. Michael Greenstone, Director of the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project and 3M Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Jerry Ellig, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; and Dr. Robert Kieval, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of CVRx, Inc. The most striking aspect of the hearing was the degree to which Members and witnesses agreed that federal regulations need to be more cost-effective and better targeted at achieving their intended goals. Committee Chairman Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) opened the hearing by noting, “There are too many [regulatory] loopholes, no uniform requirement across all agencies, a lack of standards with which to conduct the analysis, no check and balance against agency bias, no comparison of past analysis to real life impacts, and little recognition on the total burden on the economy of regulations. We must do better.” Vice-Chair Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stated, “Americans expect and deserve a common sense approach to regulation; one that protects consumers and the public interest without stifling innovation and economic growth.”
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Public policy, Regulatory policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  3. New Regulatory Agenda Lists Thousands of New Rules [Download]

    Title: New Regulatory Agenda Lists Thousands of New Rules
    Author: Miller, Sofie
    Description: What can the American public expect from federal regulators in the coming year? The biannual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, published last week, provides a first glimpse at upcoming regulations and, in a perfect world, offers citizens the chance to become involved in the rulemaking process before agencies make major decisions final.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Regulatory studies, Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  4. Should International Benefits Count? [Download]

    Title: Should International Benefits Count?
    Author: Sutter, Dan
    Description: Should federal regulatory benefit-cost analysis (BCA) include benefits realized by residents of other nations? When it comes to valuing the effects of climate change, the federal government has recently decided that it should. A May 2013 technical update of an interagency working group established a revised range of values agencies are expected to use for the social cost of carbon (SCC) in regulatory analyses. Based on the working group’s earlier guidance on this subject, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) analysis of greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for 2017 and later cars and light duty trucks includes $126 billion in benefits, primarily carbon reductions, less than a quarter of which are domestic benefits.
    Keywords: Regulation, Federal government, Commentaries, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  5. OMB’s Draft 2013 Report to Congress on Regulatory Costs and Benefits has Limitations [Download]

    Title: OMB’s Draft 2013 Report to Congress on Regulatory Costs and Benefits has Limitations
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: The benefits and costs of regulations, individually and in the aggregate, are notoriously hard to measure. In an attempt to measure the size and scope of regulation, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) each year submits to Congress an accounting statement and associated report providing estimates of the total annual benefits and costs of federal regulations. According to a new GW Regulatory Studies Center comment submitted to OMB, OMB’s Draft 2013 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations (the Report) probably offers one of the most comprehensive estimates available on the expected benefits and net benefits (benefits minus costs) of federal regulation; but, as OMB acknowledges, it has limitations. The benefits reported both for fiscal year 2012 and over the last decade are dominated by EPA regulations that reduce fine particles (PM2.5) either directly or incidentally. OMB provides a good qualitative presentation of the many uncertainties surrounding the PM2.5 benefits, but it should go further. It should reveal to the public the effect of these uncertainties on the range of plausible benefits derived from regulations.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  6. What are Regulatory Proxies Measuring? [Download]

    Title: What are Regulatory Proxies Measuring?
    Author: Pack, Terry
    Description: Without reliable measures of regulatory activity, attempts to understand regulations’ effect on the economy will be hindered, so the lack of correlation between the variables currently being used in the economic literature is troubling. The fact that none of them are closely correlated perhaps suggests that each variable captures a different facet of regulation, or perhaps our simple correlations do not adequately capture relationships among them. For example, one might expect CFR pages or constraints to follow the Regulators’ Budget or Federal Register pages with a lag (and our correlation measures include no lag). Nevertheless, these results suggest that further research is needed if we are to understand the effects of regulation on economic growth.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory studies, Regulatory policy, Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  7. Sequester Does Not Appear to have Constrained Regulatory Agency Budgets [Download]

    Title: Sequester Does Not Appear to have Constrained Regulatory Agency Budgets
    Author: Dudley, Susan
    Description: Regulatory agencies’ budgets grew faster than inflation in 2012 and 2013, despite concerns about the sequester, and would continue to grow under President Obama’s proposed budget for 2014. Financial regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, fared particularly well over the last two years, receiving large budget and staffing increases to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Food and Drug Administration, to which the Food Safety Inspection Act of 2011 granted new authority, continues to grow, with projected two-year increases in outlays of more than $1.3 billion and additions of more than 2,000 employees. The Patent and Trademark Office has also experienced notable growth since 2010 as a result of the America Invents Act of 2011, which authorized it to set its own fees. It is slated for almost $700 million in new outlays in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and more than 2,000 new staff.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory studies, Regulatory policy, Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  8. Advances in eRulemaking Open Avenues for Public Participation [Download]

    Title: Advances in eRulemaking Open Avenues for Public Participation
    Author: Schwab, Jonathan
    Description: Federal regulation in the United States is at least nominally a collaborative project between the regulatory agencies and the public. The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 and Presidential Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 require agencies to accept public comments on proposed rules and address them in revisions and final versions of rules. However, the volume of regulation and complicated nature of many regulatory proposals have historically made it difficult for citizens to be involved in the process. This was particularly true when the only access to documents supporting regulations were hard copies of materials stored in agency reading room filing cabinets. The advent of the Internet offered potential for significant improvements in transparency and public participation across the Federal government, and for over a decade, the federal government has been working to take advantage of new technologies and opportunities. In 2003, an interagency eRulemaking team released Regulations.gov, a centralized, searchable database of executive agencies’ regulatory actions that allows the public to submit comments on rules as well as view and respond to other comments. In the ten years since its release, Regulations.gov has won awards from the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Council for Technology, Adobe, and MeriTalk. It has also faced some constructive criticism regarding its ease of use, data accessibility and completeness, and its speed at adopting Web 2.0 technologies.
    Keywords: Regulation, Federal government, Commentaries, Regulatory studies, Regulatory policy, Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  9. Reducing the Regulatory Burden: Recommendations for FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Rule [Download]

    Title: Reducing the Regulatory Burden: Recommendations for FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Rule
    Author: West, Cassidy B.
    Description: In January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule, Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, establishing minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. Our examination of the proposed rule and supporting analysis reveals that the proposal does not meet the statutory and executive requirements nor does it consider unintended consequences that may result from the proposed safety standards; and the estimates used to support the benefits of the rule are based on unreliable data.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  10. Regulatory Reform in the 113th Congress [Download]

    Title: Regulatory Reform in the 113th Congress
    Author: West, Cassidy B.
    Description: The 113th Congress is considering various bills to reform how regulations are developed, analyzed, and reviewed. The GW Regulatory Studies Center tracks and classifies these bills based on information provided by the Library of Congress. The legislation is selected if it concerns improvements to the quality of government regulation. Regulatory reform may be economic or to mitigate some sort of harm that stems from the activity being regulated. The bills are classified using reform elements the GW Regulatory Studies Center considers to be integral to reforming the regulatory processes, procedures, and subsequent outcomes.
    Keywords: Regulation, Federal government, Commentaries, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018