The public benefits of regulation far outweigh the industry costs, Prof. Rena Steinzor told a U.S. Senate Subcommittee October 21.
Steinzor, a member of Maryland Carey Law’s nationally recognized Environmental Law Program, cited numerous economic and policy studies to support her point in testimony before the U.S. Senate Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight Committee.
The hearing was called to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Regulatory Impact Analyses—the cost-benefit analyses the agency must conduct before it can impose new regulations.
“EPA’s work in this area is the gold standard for all other government agencies,” Steinzor said. In fact, she argued, EPA cost-benefit analysis typically understates benefits and overstates costs. Nevertheless, she noted, Congress has demanded and come to rely on substantial, if inherently flawed cost-benefit analysis from EPA rather than amend environmental statutes.
Steinzor is most recently the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction (Cambridge University Press). A founder and past president of the Center for Progressive Reform, she has served as attorney advisor to the Federal Trade Commission, staff counsel to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and as a lawyer for municipal governments at Spiegel & McDiarmid in Washington, DC.