Cardoza: new law will ensure greater transparency in regulatory process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) announced the passage today of H.R. 3010, The Regulatory Accountability Act, with his strong support. Cardoza co-sponsored this regulatory reform legislation, which will ensure that federal regulations governing businesses are fair, reasonable, and do not place unnecessary burdens on business owners. “The Regulatory Accountability Act will ensure greater transparency in the regulatory process and greater scrutiny of the economic effects of regulations,” Cardoza said in a news release. “In addition, this bill will provide a number of benefits to local businesses in our community, while also protecting public health and safety.” During the debate, Cardoza submitted comments to the Congressional Record highlighting a specific example of how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their unnecessary, burdensome regulations are harming his constituents in the Central Valley. “[I]n my home district, there is a utility company that owns a percentage of a power plant in New Mexico that is subject to a standard on regional haze. The state of New Mexico put together a plan to retrofit this power plant and others within the state to meet the clean air standards using one type of technology. In the meantime, the EPA also put together a plan to meet the exact same standard. However, EPA’s plan uses a different kind of technology to meet this standard, one that costs ten times more. “If this rule gets published, this plant will be required to use EPA’s plan, ultimately costing each of my constituents up to 700 dollars over the life of this project to achieve the exact same standard that New Mexico’s plan meets. Under H.R. 3010, nonsensical requirements like this cannot be made, because it forces the agency to use the least costly alternative to meeting a standard.” H.R. 3010 contains several key provisions that will enhance the manner in which federal regulations are implemented: Early public outreach: Prior to any major rule, agencies would be required to issue an advance public notice that explains the problem they intend to address and calls for public comment on the need for a new rule and potential options the agencies should consider.Least Burdensome Option: This legislation requires agencies to adopt the “least costly” regulatory alternative that would achieve the policy goals set out by Congress. It permits agencies to adopt a more costly approach only if the agency demonstrates that it is needed to protect public health, safety, or welfare.

Formal Hearings for High-Impact Rules: Parties affected by billion-dollar rules will have access to a fair and open forum to question the accuracy of the views, evidence, and assumptions underlying the agency’s proposal, according to the news release.