The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed order that it said would codify best practices for benefit-cost analysis in rulemakings and provide clarity for states, local communities and industry.
“As a part of a larger effort of regulatory reform under the Trump administration, EPA has taken a close look at how to improve the assessment of benefits and costs that underpin regulatory decision making,” EPA said Thursday. “Many EPA statutes, including the Clean Air Act, contain language on the consideration of benefits and costs, but there are no regulations that ensure that the public is provided an analysis of the benefits and costs in a consistent manner across offices. This proposal focuses on providing more consistent and transparent application of benefit cost analyses under the Clean Air Act.”
Industry groups were quick to voice their support for the proposed order, including the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute (GEI).
“Ensuring the EPA’s rulemaking process uses clear and consistent data showing how the agency developed proposed rules will benefit the public, industry and all stakeholders,” said API Senior Vice President Frank Macchiarola. “The past decade is proof that we can achieve environmental progress and economic growth at the same time. Under improved Clean Air Act provisions, continued innovation and technologies developed by the oil and natural gas industry can build on these achievements.”
GEI President Marty Durbin said, “High quality cost-benefit analyses are foundational to balanced and informed regulatory decision-making. Rulemakings that rely on problematic and non-transparent assumptions contribute to confusing and misleading cost-benefit information.
“A more open and standardized process not only makes common sense, but will enhance public understanding of the scientific and other inputs that drive EPA’s decisions, improve the integrity of the rulemaking process, and lead to better public policy.”
EPA will accept comments on the proposal for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
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