Recent Op-Eds

As consumers, it’s important to know the true cost and benefit of the goods and services we purchase. That’s why many product labels clearly include information like miles per gallon for vehicles, for example, or nutritional information on the food we buy at the grocery store.

Finding the real cost and benefit of proposals in Washington, D.C., is often more challenging than simply reading a label. That’s especially true with regulatory proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a result, I’ve introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would make the EPA regulatory process more transparent and accountable.

The Real EPA Impact Reviews (REPAIR) Act would require the EPA to include an alternate scenario in its regulatory analysis process that would analyze the impact of the proposal without the influence of other proposed regulations. It’s important for the EPA to do this because the inclusion of proposed, but not yet finalized regulations may overestimate the benefit or conceal the actual cost of compliance. Moreover, proposed regulations might be subject to delay, modification, or outright dismissal.   

We’ve already seen examples of this in Washington. The EPA’s regulatory analysis that accompanied its proposal to lower the standard for ground level ozone included numerous proposed regulations that could have significantly impacted the cost projections. For example, their analysis assumed compliance with an ozone standard that 227 countries had yet to meet.

While including proposed regulations can be important for forecasting the future regulatory landscape, isolating a proposal’s impact without the influence of other proposed regulations would help provide a much clearer analysis of the actual impact.

This is about transparency and accountability. Congress and the American people deserve to have a full understanding of the impact regulations proposed by the Obama EPA may have on South Dakotans.