|Benefits of rules still exceed costs across government – OMB report |
Benefits of rules still exceed costs across government -- OMB report
Gabriel Nelson, E&E reporter
The benefits of federal regulations, including new rules issued last year by the Obama administration, have continued to outstrip the costs, according to a new analysis <http://www.eenews.net/assets/2011/03/04/document_pm_01.pdf> by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Major rules issued by executive branch agencies in 2010 will have $23.3 billion to $82.3 billion in annual benefits, compared with $6.5 billion to $12.5 billion in annual costs, according to the draft report released this week. Both figures are up from the rules issued in 2009, which will have an estimated $8.6 billion to $28.9 billion in annual benefits at a cost of $3.7 billion to $9.5 billion per year.
In total, federal regulations that were issued between 2000 and 2010 were estimated to provide an estimated $136 billion to $651 billion in benefits per year, with annual costs between $44 billion and $62 billion per year.
The report, which is compiled and submitted to Congress each year, is the latest to show that regulations are a net gain to society, though it is unlikely to satisfy critics of U.S. EPA and other agencies that create new rules for businesses.
Several conservative lawmakers have floated plans to slow down the pace of rulemaking, and next week, members of the House Judiciary Committee will mark up a bill from Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) that would require Congress to approve the most costly rules.
While debating federal spending on Capitol Hill this week, Democrats and the administration often pulled out these sorts of studies, hoping to deflect the criticism from Republicans who argue that red tape is a big reason for the economy's slow recovery.
Hoping to stave off deep budget cuts and other efforts to stop the agency from issuing or enforcing new rules, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and her congressional allies have frequently cited a new agency analysis that found Clean Air Act rules would provide almost $2 trillion in net benefits in 2020 (Greenwire