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February 10th, 2011
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As Republicans in the House seek to roll back the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases, the Obama Administration has begun an effort at overhauling how regulations are made that could significantly impact how new air pollution rules affect businesses. Although there is much uncertainty over how far the White House intends to go in reviewing and streamlining regulations, a move to identify concrete areas where that can happen would help improve relations with the business community as President Obama reconsiders how government regulation is affecting growth in the private sector. In this Energy and Climate Brief, Garten Rothkopf discusses the details of the Obama Administration's regulatory reform proposal, as well as how the debate in Washington over EPA regulation may affect how that reform is carried out.


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Yesterday’s long-awaited hearing in the House of Representatives on the impact of regulations on the economy, economic growth and jobs saw both parties embrace the goal of streamlining regulations, including those for greenhouse gases.  With both Republicans and Democrats aggressively trying to seize the mantle of being “pro-jobs” and “pro-growth”, both sides are looking at how reforming regulatory policy could unleash growth and the President has offered a number of olive branches to the private sector.  The executive order recently announced by President Obama calls on agencies to review the impact of regulations across the board, adopting regulations only on a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs, that the regulations impose the least burden on society, and that among alternative regulatory approaches, the ones that maximize net benefits, are chosen.  But what regulations are actually going to be altered as a result of this debate?  Even if both sides of the aisle have rhetorically committed to reducing the regulatory burden on business, it is clear that they have very different ideas of what that means in practice.  In this Garten Rothkopf Energy and Climate Brief, the Obama Administration's regulatory reform proposal will be examined in detail, with a particular eye toward how it will affect policies on energy and the environment.

Source: Politico

How Much of a Change from Existing Policies?

Since the executive order was issued, debate has been touched off in Washington about what has actually changed in the President’s warmer tone toward business.  James Goodwin, a policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform, told GR that the executive order and two memoranda that President Obama issued in January are mostly, if not entirely, reaffirmations of the basic framework for regulation and regulatory review established in President Clinton's Executive Order 12866 in 1993, requiring federal agencies to ensure that regulations meet standards for cost-effectiveness, fairness, and imposing the least amount of regulatory burden, and thus there was not really a lot new here. While the conventional wisdom in some corners of the business community and on Capitol Hill is that there is nothing new, the Administration has signaled that it really does intend to make every agency do a comprehensive review of all regulatory policy aimed at streamlining the process.

See full article here.

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Garten Rothkopf
1330 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20036 | phone: 202.457.7920