Photo of Michael LivermorePhoto of Richard ReveszDean Richard Revesz and Michael Livermore '06, the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, were quick to praise President Obama’s executive order calling for a government-wide review of business regulations to ferret out outmoded or illogical rules and put more emphasis on the benefits of rules. Obama announced the executive order in a January 18 Wall Street Journal op-ed. The authors of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health, a book which argues for just the kind of common-sense approach to regulation that Obama is now putting into place, applauded the White House’s move toward safeguarding both the environment and the economy by applying a humane and thoughtful version of cost-benefit analysis.

The executive order "should be embraced by those who favor strong protections for the environment, public health, and safety," Revesz wrote in a statement. "It provides a blueprint for adopting beneficial regulations that protect the well-being of Americans while at the same time pursuing policies that promote economic growth and the creation of jobs.”

In the same statement, Livermore wrote that the executive order provides more opportunities for public interest groups to make a case for additional regulatory protections. “This move demonstrates the administration’s belief that when cost-benefit analysis is done right, the facts often support stronger protections,” Livermore said. “In the long term, this order is likely to displease those industry groups that want less regulation without regard to public benefits.”

"The environment and the economy are not at odds," Revesz told the New York Times, "On the contrary, the success of each one is linked to the well-being of the other. By making this case, the president pointed to a better way of safeguarding both."

Posted January 19, 2010