Cost Benefit Analysis

The Curious Case of EPA’s Mercury Cost-Benefit Decision

What, exactly, is EPA up to by changing the underlying analysis of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (known as the MATS rule), as it announced yesterday?  Is it the first step in gutting the use of cost-benefit analysis to support strong environmental regulations?  Is it a gift to Murray Energy in its lawsuit seeking …

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Regulatory Reform: A Progressive Vision

A new Issue Brief provides practical proposals on how to improve regulation.

For over three decades, “regulatory reform” has been an aspiration chiefly for opponents of regulation.  Everyone agrees that regulation could be improved. But too many proposals for change are designed to undercut protection of the environment, public health, and civil rights. What would regulatory reform look like if you actually want to improve regulation rather …

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The Rise of Benefit-Blind Analysis 

The Trump Administration cares about regulatory costs. Regulatory benefits? Not so much.

Since Ronald Reagan’s time, there has been a consensus among conservatives that cost-benefit analysis (CBA) should be the gold standard for regulation.  That approach has given them common ground with moderates such as Cass Sunstein, many economists (whether liberal or conservative), and at least a few   scholars more environmentally inclined.  Cost-benefit analysis has had its …

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Progressive Regulatory Reform

Suppose that, like conservatives, progreessives started thinking about reforming the regulatory system. What would that look like?

Until recently, you could be a very well informed American – a lawyer, even – without ever having heard of the Chevron doctrine.  That has changed enough that last month the New Yorker had a “Talk of the Town” essay discussing Kavanaugh’s views of the Chevron doctrine. The reason for the attention to Chevron is …

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The Case for Co-Benefits

Ignoring co-benefits violates well-established legal principles.

The Trump Administration is moving toward the view, long popular in industry, that when it regulates a pollutant, EPA can consider only the health impacts of that particular pollutant – even when the regulation will also reduce other harmful pollutants. This idea is especially important in climate change regulation, because cutting carbon emissions almost always …

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A Loss for Trump — and for Coal

Trump Administration Loses Yet Another Environmental Case

Understandably, most of the attention at the beginning of the week was devoted to the rollout of the Trump Administration’s token effort to regulate greenhouse gases, the ACE rule. But something else happened, too. On Tuesday, a D.C. Circuit ruling ignored objections from the Trump Administration and invalidated key parts of a rule dealing with …

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Guest Blogger Benjamin Miller: Suggestions to help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

On June 13th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting comments on how to improve the consistency and transparency of the cost benefit analyses that guide EPA’s regulatory decision making. Both are praiseworthy goals, particularly because executive orders issued by the Trump administration last year resulted in cost benefit analysis being used not …

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What Kind of Conservative is Kavanaugh?

Half a dozen observations on our (probably) soon to be junior Justice.

I wanted to add a few words about Kavanaugh in light of Ann Carlson’s excellent post a few minutes ago. No doubt we’ll be seeing more about his views after people have had time to read his opinions and some of his law review writing. But there are a few points I would add after …

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200 Days & Counting: Executive Orders

Trump loves issuing executive orders. Mostly, they don’t mean much.

Trump has issued a flood of executive orders. Many of them are “full of sound and fury. . . signifying nothing.” They actually concern actions that he doesn’t have the power to take himself. Instead, they relate to responsibilities that Congress gave to an administrative agency like EPA, not the White House.  There are a …

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200 Days & Counting: Pollution and Climate Change

Trump and Pruitt want to take an ax to EPA regulation. That will be harder than they think.

Rolling back EPA regulations is one of the Trump Administration’s priorities. The most notable example is Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which aimed to cut CO2 emissions from power plants. The other rule that has gotten considerable attention is the so-called WOTUS rule, which defines federal jurisdiction to regulate wetlands and watersheds. But these are not …

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