Issac Shapiro and John Irons, Economic Policy Institute, April 2011.
A chief priority of the new House Republican majority in Congress is to curtail government regulation. In the first months since the new Congress convened, the House has held dozens of hearings designed to elicit criticisms of regulations, introduced legislation that would dramatically alter the regulatory process by requiring congressional approval of all major regulations, and passed a spending bill that would slash the funding levels of regulatory agencies and restrict their ability to enact rules covering areas such as greenhouse gas emissions.
Lisa Heinzerling, Frank Ackerman, and Rachel Massey. Georgetown Law Journal. April 2010.
“Applying Cost-Benefit Analysis to Past Decisions: Was Environmental Protection Ever a Good Idea?” challenges the reigning dogma of cost-benefit analysis by asking two simple questions. “If this analytical device had been applied in the 1970s and earlier, would it have endorsed the early successes of health and environmental regulation? Or would it have resulted in negative judgments wherever and whenever it was applied?”
“2010 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Entities” is a major review of all the federal government's regulations. The report chronicles the costs and benefits of all federal regulations between 1999 and 2009. The agencies found that the average annual cost of their regulations are between $43 and $55 billion, while the annual benefits are between $128 and $616 billion.
Frank Ackerman. Global Development and Environment Institute. February 2006.
In his February 2006 Article for the Global Development and Environment Institute: “The Unbearable Lightness of Regulatory Costs” the Ackerman argues that contrary to conventional wisdom, regulatory costs are actually quite small and, in instances where they aren’t, reducing them would not necessarily improve economic outcomes.
Frank Ackerman and Rachel Massey. Tufts University. August 2002.
If we understand that “an activity poses threats of serious, irreversible harm to human health or the environment, we should act to prevent that damage—even if science has not fully worked out the details of the relevant cause and effect relationships.”