Taking a Fair Look at Risks
. . .risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis, strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
Item 8, Contract With America
Curbing federal regulations is one of those ideas from which virtually no one would dissent, yet it sounds a lot better in theory than it works in practice. In their Contract With America, the Republicans have promised to continue their efforts to ease the regulatory burden.
Though their preliminary bill offers what appear to be common-sense proposals, it could end up creating more government and possibly erode important gains in public health and safety, the environment and fair play in the market place. For instance, one core provision includes requiring the federal government to assess the risk and cost of each new regulation.
As Republicans explain this provision, the cost would be determined by the impact on jobs lost, costs to business and lower wages. Each government agency would form an independent review panel to assess the best scientific data. Republicans say this approach would counter the long-held congressional practice of enacting laws to benefit health, safety and the environment without taking effects into account.
Fair enough. In practical terms, though, how might this proposal work? Say that objective evidence shows that certain gases from vehicle emissions cause respiratory diseases among some people. Furthermore, air crosses state lines, so perhaps only the federal government may be able to hammer out a policy that protects the environment across state lines. …