ATR applauds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s new plan to improve cost-benefit analysis and transparency in the regulatory process.
In a recently released memo, Administrator Wheeler outlined four key principles for the EPA to use as guidance in developing regulatory proposals moving forward:
Performing cost-benefit analysis – Assuring that both the benefits and costs are weighed in determinations surrounding regulatory decisions by ensuring that that Agency considers whether or not the benefits of a proposed regulation outweigh the costs.
Consistency in interpretation across EPA offices – EPA should evaluate benefits and costs in a consistent application of terminology. The memo uses the specific examples of ensuring the terms “practical,” “appropriate,” “reasonable” and “feasible” have the same interpretation in all EPA offices.
Increased transparency of analysis – Offering transparency to the public in how conclusions are reached regarding regulatory decisions by stating what was and was not considered throughout the analysis.
Adhering to best practices – Offices must follow best practices in analyzing costs and benefits, follow existing guidance and adhere to peer-reviewed standards.
These principles reinforce the belief that regulatory agencies should only look to regulate when the benefits outweigh the costs. This memo promotes the Trump agenda and is in line with President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” which directs agencies to identify regulations that impose costs that exceed benefits.
The Wheeler memo goes on to instruct the Office of AIR and Radiation to be the first office to issue a proposal implementing these principles later this year, with other offices to follow.
Earlier this year, ATR led a conservative coalition urging President Trump to consider an executive order requiring full transparency of all scientific data used to justify new or pending federal regulations. This action taken by Administrator Wheeler helps achieve the goal of transparency and ATR applauds him for his leadership on the issue.