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  1. DOE’s Proposed Commercial Refrigeration Rule Claims to Save Retailers Money by Reducing their Choices [Download]

    Title: DOE’s Proposed Commercial Refrigeration Rule Claims to Save Retailers Money by Reducing their Choices
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: In September, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a proposed rule setting energy efficiency standards for 49 different types of commercial refrigeration equipment, establishing maximum allowable energy usage standards as a function of either refrigerated volume or total display area for each separate equipment class. The standards will increase appliance prices for commercial customers such as restaurants, supermarkets, warehouse stores, and convenience stores, but DOE also expects these customers to benefit from longer-term energy savings.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  2. 2012 Unified Agenda Less Informative [Download]

    Title: 2012 Unified Agenda Less Informative
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: Regulations are a powerful tool for achieving policy goals and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Agenda) has for years served as the public’s first notice of the federal government’s planned regulatory activities. Rules issued by agencies such as the Transportation Department or Environmental Protection Agency have the force of law, yet unlike statutory law, they can be put in effect without approval from Congress. Given today’s political climate—with concerns over the fiscal budget and divisions in Congress—regulations can be particularly attractive tools for achieving policy goals, and experts expect an ambitious lineup of new regulations over the next few years. The Administration’s most recent Agenda corroborates that expectation. It identifies 2,387 regulatory actions underway, of which 841 are listed for the first time. Some of these new regulations are mandated by legislation passed in President Obama’s first term, such as the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank Act, while others would rely on authority in older statutes to implement Presidential priorities such as climate change mitigation.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  3. GAO Report: Agencies Circumvent Public Comment on Major Rules [Download]

    Title: GAO Report: Agencies Circumvent Public Comment on Major Rules
    Author: Dudley, Susan
    Description: A new Government Accountability Office report finds that federal agencies did not go through notice-and-comment rulemaking for over one-third of the major rules issued between 2003 and 2010. This means that a significant percentage of new regulations expected to have an impact of $100 million or more on the economy are given the force of law without public input. GAO finds a sharp increase in the practice of issuing a final regulation without first seeking public comment in 2009, when 40 percent of all major final rules were issued without notice and comment, compared to 26 percent in 2008. It recommends that the executive branch take greater care to ensure agencies consider and address public comments on new rules, but Congress is also responsible for this trend and could take steps to ensure regulations are more transparent and accountable.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  4. Seeking Comment on the Social Cost of Carbon [Download]

    Title: Seeking Comment on the Social Cost of Carbon
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: The Obama Administration published a notice in the Federal Register today seeking comment on its approach to estimating the social cost of carbon (SCC) for use in regulatory impact analysis. The premise of the SCC, and public policies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, is that the social cost of burning carbon is greater than the private cost, because the long-term effects of CO2 emissions on the climate are not included in the costs of the goods and services that generate the emissions. The SCC is intended to reflect this “external cost” associated with CO2 emissions. There is certainly room to debate the merits of the Administration’s climate agenda as a whole; but, as we have noted in previous analyses, if the U.S. is going to constrain CO2 emissions, the use of a unified SCC makes sense. The SCC summarizes into one metric a vast array of information derived from scientific and economic research and modeling. To the climate, all CO2 molecules look alike, so use of a consistent SCC can bring some coherence to the vast portfolio of emissions regulations, energy efficiency standards, renewable fuel mandates, technology subsidies, and other policies intended to mitigate global warming.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  5. Questionable Benefits: NHTSA Proposed Rule Mandates Noisy Cars [Download]

    Title: Questionable Benefits: NHTSA Proposed Rule Mandates Noisy Cars
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently published a proposed rule that would require hybrid and electric vehicles to make a minimum amount of sound while being operated at speeds slower than 18 miles per hour. Because they use an electric motor, hybrid and electric vehicles generate less noise than other vehicles that are reliant upon internal combustion engines (ICEs), and legislators and regulators alike are concerned that pedestrians could be injured by a vehicle they can’t hear coming. The proposed standard would require hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans, buses, and motorcycles to produce a noise that is both detectable by pedestrians from a safe distance and recognizable in a range of ambient environments. The noise must be loud enough for a pedestrian to detect from a distance of two meters, and the noise should increase at the same rate as the vehicle’s speed increases to mimic the internal combustion engine sounds to which pedestrians are accustomed. In fact, in some noise environments, the new sound standards would render electric cards and hybrids louder than their internal combustion engine counterparts.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  6. SEC Lacks Economic Justification for Proposed Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule [Download]

    Title: SEC Lacks Economic Justification for Proposed Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule
    Author: Korok, Ray
    Description: The comment period closed yesterday on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule requiring disclosure of the ratio of CEO pay to the median pay of all workers in the firm. In a public interest comment filed with the SEC, I argue there is little economic justification for this disclosure, which appears to be motivated by a desire to “shame” companies with high wage inequality inside the firm.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  7. EPA Claims Implausible Returns on Investment from its PM NAAQS [Download]

    Title: EPA Claims Implausible Returns on Investment from its PM NAAQS
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: On January 14th, the Environmental Protection Agency published a final rule in the Federal Register updating the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). The rule reduces allowable annual concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) by 20 percent, from 15.0 μg/m3 (last set in 2006) to 12.0 μg/m3. According to EPA, meeting the standard “will provide health benefits worth an estimated $4 billion to $9.1 billion per year in 2020 – a return of $12 to $171 for every dollar invested in pollution reduction.” This is such an impressive return on investment that it begs the question of why EPA chose a standard of 12.0 μg/m3, when a tighter standard would have yielded even greater returns.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  8. DOT Rule Doesn’t Address Market Failure: An Analysis of EO 12866 Requirements [Download]

    Title: DOT Rule Doesn’t Address Market Failure: An Analysis of EO 12866 Requirements
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: Executive Order 12866 outlines some fundamental tenets of U.S. regulatory policy, instructing regulatory agencies to identify the problems that they are attempting to solve through new rules and to promulgate rules that are cost-effective. These instructions are intended to make sure that rules actually address specific problems, and that these problems are worth addressing through the rulemaking process rather than through private action. Despite these guidelines, the Department of Transportation recently issued a proposed rule that would increase the prices of over 1 million domestically sold cars, without first showing the existence of a public problem that would require a regulation.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  9. Constructive Critique of OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Proposal [Download]

    Title: Constructive Critique of OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Proposal
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: In a public comment filed on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) proposed standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica, Professor Andrew Morriss and I recognize that OSHA faces multiple challenges in devising a regulatory approach that will meet its statutory goal of reducing significant risk. However, we find that the greatest challenge to reducing risks associated with silica exposure is not lack of will (on the part of employers or employees) but rather lack of information. Our analysis concludes that OSHA’s proposed rule will contribute little in the way of new information, and indeed, may stifle the generation of knowledge by precluding flexibility for experimentation and learning.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018
  10. Now is the Perfect Time to Review Outdated Diabetic Driver Rules [Download]

    Title: Now is the Perfect Time to Review Outdated Diabetic Driver Rules
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: On January 18, 2011, President Obama signed Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, instructing agencies to retrospectively review their rules to identify outmoded, ineffective, and excessively burdensome requirements. In light of a recent news article detailing some of the economic effects of the Department of Transportation’s restrictive driver qualification regulations, now is the perfect time for DOT to revisit outdated rules preventing Type 1 diabetics from driving trucks across state lines.
    Keywords: Regulation, Commentaries, Federal government, Regulatory policy, Public policy, Regulatory studies
    Date Uploaded: 03/31/2018