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Comments to DOE on Retrospective Review

Policy Integrity submitted comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) on its plan for periodic retrospective review pursuant to Executive Order 13563, which asks agencies to consider how best to promote retrospective analyses of existing rules. We found that the DOE’s plan could do a better job of updating and expanding regulations to enhance net benefits rather than just minimization of compliance burdens and administrative cost cutting, which the plan largely focuses on.

One area that we thought was particularly undeveloped in the plan was prospective regulatory analysis. We recommend that the DOE use retrospective review to compare predicted and actual benefits and cost estimates of its regulations. A review of the effectiveness of the agency’s efficiency labeling and public disclosure requirements may prove especially useful in informing future rulemakings. The DOE can also improve prospective analysis during a rule’s formation by establishing guidance on how data is to be collected and analyzed for future retrospective review.