Constitutional and Statutory Limits for Cost-Benefit Analysis Pursuant to Executive Orders 12,291 and 12,498

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review published an article titled, “Constitutional and Statutory Limits for Cost-Benefit Analysis Pursuant to Executive Orders 12,291 and 12,498”. The article reads in part as follows:

“Shortly after his inauguration in 1981, President Ronald Reagan presented his scheme for economic recovery before a joint session of Congress.  In that presentation, the President identified the costs federal regulations impose on government and industry as one of the major causes of the nation’s economic woes.  He quoted estimates that regulatory costs would ultimately reach nearly 100 billion dollars.

As he told Congress, the Administration had already begun an assault on the volume of regulation. A day earlier, President Reagan issued Executive Order 12,291.  Executive Order 12,291 provides for centralized oversight of agency rulemaking and requires that agencies issue regulations only where benefits exceed costs.  Executive Order 12,291 requires that each federal agency prepare a “Regulatory Impact Analysis” to be submitted, along with proposed or final rules, to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. 6 Under Executive Order 12,291, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), under the direction of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Reform, reviews and comments on both rule making proposals and final rules prior to publication.”

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