CEI Scholar Warns: TSCA Reform Promises Higher Prices, Less Choice

As House and Senate members hammer out the final details of legislation to reform federal chemical regulation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) warns that the final law is likely to do more harm than good

“Consumers will be the ones to suffer—with less choice, inferior products, and higher prices,” says CEI senior fellow Angela Logomasini in a new paper on the topic called “Why TSCA ‘Reform’ Is Likely To Do More Harm Than Good.”

Congressional staff are currently negotiating differences between House and Senate versions of the legislation, which would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Congress is expected to pass the TSCA reform sometime this year, and President Obama is likely to sign it into law.

The current law has a solid standard for evaluating risks, which holds regulators accountable and demands that regulations provide net benefits. The pending proposals would weaken that standard, increase bureaucracy, and allow regulators more power to ban valuable products.

“TSCA reform promises to empower the EPA to go after valuable chemicals that have important public health and safety benefits, which could be lost,” explains Logomasini.

TSCA reform is unlikely to reduce risks associated with trace chemicals in consumer products, which are already low, but it may undermine health and safety as EPA bans certain chemicals. For example, notes Logomasini, “If regulators ban certain flame retardants, we could see more fire-related deaths.” 

Read the full paper here to see more about how TSCA reform may do more harm than good.