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Comments to EPA and DOE on Retrospective Review

Back in January, President Obama signed Executive Order 13,563 requesting that agencies develop and submit preliminary plans to periodically review existing significant regulations.

Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have issued requests for comments on designing their proposals.

Policy Integrity submitted comments on these plans to each agency (EPA on Saturday, DOE today) including several recommendations to guide the process of developing policies for conducting retrospective reviews.

Among our suggestions is avoiding the trap of simply determining if a rule is overly burdensome or not. Instead, agencies should consider the full range of options for improving a regulation, including strengthening, complementing, or modernizing rules where necessary.

We also recommend thorough examination of a rule’s impacts (such as costs and benefits and how consequences affect different groups), designing retrospective review before regulations go into effect so that they can be easily monitored and evaluated, making retrospective review transparent for active public participation, and ensuring that members on the review team are independent from the authors of the initial rule.