The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of more than 160 consumer, labor, scientific, research, faith, community, environmental, small business, good government, public health and public interest groups — representing millions of Americans. We are joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards should secure our quality of life, pave the way for a sound economy, and benefit us all.
Latest Regulatory News
The Environmental Protection Agency has released its plan for tackling widespread contamination by the highly toxic persistent industrial compounds known as PFAS, which have been found in drinking water around the country. The agency’s “PFAS Strategic Roadmap” is part of an interagency push by the Biden administration to combat the chemicals, which are associated with a range of health problems and last indefinitely in the environment. But environmental advocates and people living in contaminated communities criticized the plan for containing more promises and planned actions than concrete policies.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday issued a series of orders seeking information about the online payment systems of some of the country’s biggest tech companies. The agency sent initial orders to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal and Square and has plans to study the payment systems of Chinese companies Alipay and WeChat Pay as well. The agency is specifically asking for information about data harvesting for targeted advertising, user restrictions and fraud protections.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, requires that employers provide a safe and healthy workplace for their workers—unless those workers are incarcerated. Approximately 2.3 million people are incarcerated and 55 percent of those incarcerated individuals work while serving their sentences. The Bureau of Prisons requires that most incarcerated people in federal prisons work. Incarcerated workers often contribute to prisons’ day-to-day operations, such as by working in food service, laundry facilities, or groundskeeping. Incarcerated workers also provide critical services and products for the outside world, often in times of crisis. For instance, they fought wildfires in California in recent years and produced hand sanitizer and face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. The Bureau of Prisons provides health and safety requirements for incarcerated workers in federal prisons through its occupational health and safety program. This policy includes annual safety training for incarcerated workers, investigations into work-related injuries, and compensation for lost wages due to workplace injuries. Injury compensation, however, is restricted to individuals working through the Federal Prison Industries and work assignments related to the maintenance of the facility.
In the actual work of crafting the regulatory safeguards that protect our environment and health, cost-benefit analysis has been largely ineffectual and irrelevant. Indeed, its ineffectiveness has been so profound as to prompt even its most ardent practitioners and proponents to question whether it has any impact on agency decisions at all. Meanwhile, it plays at best a minor role in the legal standards that actually govern agency decision-making. Despite all this, a certain cost-benefit orthodoxy has become remarkably entrenched in environmental policy circles. Especially in an era when so many progressive ideas are in ascendance, why does the idea of regulatory review based on CBA, first brought to us half a century ago by the two Ronalds—Ronald Coase and Ronald Reagan—have such staying power?