Institute for Policy Integrity logo


Making Regulations Fair

How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Promote Equity and Advance Environmental Justice

To achieve the Biden administration’s ambitious commitments to equity and environmental justice, agencies will need guidance on how to assess and weigh the distributional effects of policy options. This report recommends steps that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) can take to mainstream equity into agencies’ decisionmaking. OMB should instruct agencies to conduct more granular analysis of distributional impacts, provide guidance on how to conduct such assessments, and direct agencies on how to weigh this data in decisionmaking. Finally, OMB should oversee a whole-of-government approach that coordinates between agencies with different mandates, assesses cumulative distributional effects across regulations, and identifies strategies for addressing them. The authors look forward to engaging with environmental justice-focused organizations on the issues raised in the report.