EPA Lacks Transparency, Is Far Costlier Than Other Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 19, 2012 – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations now cost Americans an estimated $353 billion per year—almost twice the regulatory costs of any other federal agency and greater than Denmark’s entire national GDP.

These regulatory statistics and more were revealed today in the Regulatory Report Card issued by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The purpose of the report card is to assess the EPA’s regulatory activity and its impact on the U.S. economy.

Despite its enormous effect on the public, the EPA has failed to bring adequate transparency to its regulatory process. From 1999 to 2011, 7,161 final rules from the EPA were published in the Federal Register. Fewer than 5,000 of those rules were initially presented to the public in the Unified Agenda, a feature of the Federal Register intended to alert the public to rules in the pipeline.

“Transparency is the lifeblood of democracy,” said Ryan Young, CEI Fellow in Regulatory Studies and author of the EPA Report Card. “There should be a lot more of it in Washington, especially in the opaque world of regulation.”

Young singles out five recent and upcoming EPA rules that deserve greater scrutiny:

(1) The Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards

(2) Stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards

(3) The Regional Haze Rule

(4) New coal combustion residual standards

(5) New carbon pollution standards

Read the full report card here.