The White House released the first proposed overhaul of how the government evaluates proposed regulations on Thursday, suggesting changes to the regulatory process not updated in at least 20 years. The new Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) guidelines and best practices for how federal rules are drafted would update how the costs and benefits of proposed rules are calculated to more accurately and equitably reflect their impact.
Among the changes are a reduced annualized discount rate (thus giving more equal weight to future impacts in cost/benefit analyses as future costs are discounted less) and changes to incorporate the outsized effects of a rule’s benefit to low-income communities compared to wealthy ones (because $100 given to a low-income person has a greater impact than $100 given to a wealthy person). “This is a huge issue for climate change because we have to reduce emissions now but the consequence of those reduced emissions are spread over centuries,” Billy Pizer of Resources for the Future told The Hill. The OIRA revamp — which President Biden ordered on the first night of his presidency — will be finalized after a 60-day comment period ending June 6. (E&E News, The Hill)