Commentary Archive



Photo of Brian Mannix

The Gopher Frog and Justice Alito’s Unanswered Question

December 12, 2018

12/12/18 - In reaching its unanimous decision last month that the Fish and Wildlife Service had overreached in designating “critical habitat” for the endangered Dusky Gopher Frog, the Supreme Court dodged an important question that Justice Alito had posed during oral argument: Who should pay for the preservation of this public good?

Bryce Chinault

#GivingTuesday: Why You Should Support the GW Regulatory Studies Center

November 27, 2018

11/27/18 - The GW Regulatory Studies Center is the hub for rigorous, applied academic research in regulatory policy. Our scholars are the leading experts in their field of study. We regularly interact with key bipartisan leaders across the federal government, thought leaders in academia, popular news outlets, and the apex of industry. And we have big plans for the future.

Photo of Jerry Ellig

Now Available: A Concise Explanation of the FCC’s Economic Analysis on Net Neutrality

November 19, 2018

11/19/18 - Understanding the FCC's economic thinking behind its Restoring Internet Freedom order, which repealed and replaced Net Neutrality, has not been easy to decipher for anyone interested in the subject. In this commentary, and a brand new journal entry, research professor and former FCC chief economist Jerry Ellig provides a concise explanation of the agency's rationale behind the order, and points out its previous disregard for economic analysis.

Photo of Mark Febrizio

Proposed SAFE Rule Could Improve Net Benefits of CAFE Standards

November 12, 2018

11/12/18 - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Enviornmental Protection Agency are evaluating comments on their proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule that sets Corporate Average Fuel Economy and carbon dioxide emission standards. Policy analyst Mark Febrizio summarizes a comment on the proposed rule submitted by Julian Morris on behalf of the GW Regulatory Studies Center, which argued that the proposal will save billions of dollars in economic costs, potentially decrease traffic fatalities, and is unlikely to have a significant negative effect on the environment.

Photo of Jerry Ellig

FCC Clears Last Hurdles to Creation of Economics Office

October 25, 2018

10/25/18 - The Federal Communications Commission has just announced approval for it to organize an Office of Economics and Analytics. Jerry Ellig - former FCC chief economist and current Regulatory Studies Center research professor - discusses what that means for the independent agency's rulemaking process.

Photo of John Cooney

The Bright Future of Executive Order 12866

October 22, 2018

10/22/18 - John Cooney - former OMB Deputy General Counsel - moderated the, 'Looking to the Future' panel of our 'Celebrating 25 Years of E.O. 12866' event, and in this commentary he explains how this executive order struck a balance among competing ideas at the time and argues that its core principles will continue to govern the regulatory review process.

Photo of Daniel R. Pérez

2018 Fall Unified Agenda

October 17, 2018

10/17/18 - In her introduction to the Fall 2018 Regulatory Plan, OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao states that the administration’s regulatory reform efforts will continue to prioritize reforms that target economic growth and foster technological innovation and consumer choice. The Fall 2018 Unified Agenda includes a total of 3,534 regulatory actions—174 of which are economically significant. Of these, 257 are classified as regulatory, 671 as deregulatory, with the remainder exempt or classified as “other.” Compared to the Spring 2018 Agenda, the total number of actions increased from 3,352 to 3,534. The number of active rulemakings in this Agenda increased slightly (2,399 compared to 2,226 last spring). Of those, the number of economically significant actions increased from 88 in the Spring 2018 Agenda to 118 in the Fall 2018 Agenda. Interestingly, of the 118 economically significant actions listed, 26 are deregulatory, 41 are regulatory, 15 are exempt, and the rest are classified as “other.”

Photo of  Daniel R. Pérez

Fiscal Year 2018 Report on Regulatory Reform under Trump

October 17, 2018

10/17/18 - Policy Analyst Daniel R. Pérez provides an overview of the Trump administration's release of the 2018 Fall Agenda and status update on the implementation of Executive Order 13771.

Photo of Jerry Ellig

IRS Tax Credit Regulation: Too Much SALT?

October 15, 2018

10/15/18 - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed a regulation that would prevent all individual taxpayers from claiming a federal charitable deduction if the taxpayer received a state tax credit equivalent to more than 15 percent of the donation. This comment explains why the proposed regulation is much broader than necessary to address the real problem the IRS seeks to solve: state tax credit programs designed explicitly to aid taxpayers in avoiding the cap on deductibility of state and local taxes.

Photo of Daniel Flores

E.O. 12866 - A View from the House

October 12, 2018

10/11/18 - Daniel Flores is a Majority Staff member of the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, and in this commentary he explains why Congress has long been considering ways to assure legislative activity is animated and guided by the 'Statement of Regulatory Philosophy and Principles' within Executive Order 12866.

Photo of Richard Revesz

E.O. 12866 - 25th Anniversary Remarks

October 09, 2018

10/9/18 - NYU Law Professor Richard Revesz, although supportive of the bipartisan consensus of benefit-cost analysis, is concerned for the future of the principles behind E.O. 12866. This commentary provides his opening remarks and ten examples of what he sees as concerning actions from the current administration.

Photo of Neil Eisner

The Life and Times of Executive Order 12866

October 09, 2018

10/9/18 - Neil Eisner, former Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement, Dept. of Transportation, comments on the initial implementation and adoption of Executive Order 12866, highlights four significant accomplishments it has had within the rulemaking process, and offers a few lessons learned.

Image of Susan Dudley

The Future of E.O. 12866: Embracing Regulatory Humility

October 05, 2018

10/5/18 - Susan Dudley, former OIRA Administrator, discusses how Executive Order 12866 has lead to bipartisan consensus of regulatory principles, reviews the ongoing effects of this 25-year-old rulemaking process, and why it is likely to continue to make a significant difference well into the future.

Clark Nardinelli

Praising the Principles in Executive Order 12866

October 03, 2018

Clark Nardinelli, Chief Economist at FDA and Vice President of the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis, comments on the philosophy underlying E.O. 12866 and the 12 principles of good regulation. He recently participated in the "Looking Back on 25 Years" panel at the Regulatory Studies Center forum celebrating 25 Years of E.O. 12866.

Bridget Dooling

Reflections on the E.O. 12866 Anniversary Event from a Bureaucrat Turned Academic

October 02, 2018

Bridget Dooling is a research professor at the GW Regulatory Studies Center. She moderated the "Looking Back on 25 Years" panel, and in this commentary she shares her key take-aways as well as her overall impressions of the event, informed by her tenure in OIRA.