“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.”