Rena Steinzor

Rena I. Steinzor is the Jacob A. France Research Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and has a secondary appointment to the University's School of Medicine faculty. She is the President of the Center for Progressive Reform.

Business & Technology

The Economist uses stale right-wing ideas to attack government regulation

The magazine has published a series on "Over-regulated America" that does nothing but contradict itself and repackage false claims about the costs of protective regulation.


Behind closed doors, Obama administration politicizes the regulatory process

When former Harvard Law Professor and eclectic intellectual Cass Sunstein was named administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), conservative, industry-oriented Wall Street Journal editorial writers enthused that his appointment was a “promising sign.” A slew of subsequent events has proved their optimism well placed, as we have noted repeatedly in CPRBlog. But nothing beats hard, empirical evidence. In a report released yesterday, CPR announces the results of an exhaustive six-month analysis of the barebones information OIRA has eked onto the web regarding 1,080 meetings held over a 10-year period (October 2001-June 2011) with 5,759 outside lobbyists, …

Artificial industry sweetener

Obama's example of crazy regulation missed the mark

President Obama's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal touted the EPA's deregulation of an artificial sweetener. Here's the back story.

Right on the money

In his Wall Street Journal op-ed, Obama moves to the right on regulation

In today's Wall Street Journal, President Obama embraces a conservative frame for the coming discussion about the role of regulation.

In Lew of better circumstances

Nominee Jacob Lew must take a fresh look at the broken regulatory situation

Jacob Lew heads to the hill for two Senate hearings on his nomination to be the new director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

Coal ash first real test of Obama commitment to health and safety regulation

A critical test of the Obama Administration’s commitment to reviving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is teeing up behind closed doors at the White House. Once again, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is cast in the role of regulation killer, supported by a slew of state and other federal agencies that are polluters in this scenario. Other players include a nearly hysterical segment of the electric utility industry, which argues that labeling coal ash as a hazardous waste will prove prohibitively expensive, as well as a coalition of public interest activists that includes Robert Bullard, the father of …

An Open Letter to Cass Sunstein

Sunstein Watch: What progressives expect from OIRA

Dear Cass: As you know, we picked a spat with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) last week over Randy Lutter’s supposedly temporary detail appointment to your office. It’s not the first time we’ve criticized the workings of OIRA, and almost certainly won’t be the last.  I’ve spoken to a number of people in the media and elsewhere who have expressed surprise that progressive organizations like Center for Progressive Reform are such relentless critics of a progressive administration. I’m sure administration officials feel this frustration as well. That dynamic is at work in OIRA’s case because you have a reputation …

Conservative economist Randall Lutter to OIRA?

For a number of days now, we’ve been hearing rumors that Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s “regulatory czar,” was on the verge of hiring conservative economist Randall Lutter to join him at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Few personnel developments could be more discouraging to those hopeful that the Obama Administration will fulfill its many commitments to revitalize the agencies responsible for protecting public health, worker safety, and natural resources. The best thing that can be said about the prospect of hiring Randall Lutter, a Cornell-educated economist who cut his teeth at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), is …

Newly confirmed regulatory czar needs to close OIRA’s backdoor for special interests

Cass SunsteinAfter weeks of sustained attack from the right-wing on issues that are marginal to the job the President asked him to do, Cass Sunstein has emerged from the nomination process bloody but apparently unbowed (here’s yesterday’s roll call). He is now the nation’s “regulatory czar,” Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.   Although Professor Sunstein has been sitting in the Old Executive Office Building for months, he has undoubtedly been preoccupied with his nomination battle. Having survived the occasionally nonsensical trial by partisan and self-serving flight of fancy that was his …

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