- ...Trump instituted the first federal regulatory budget. He imposed caps on the amount of cost federal agencies could impose on Americans with their rules. Joe Biden dismantled the budget, but a cap is an idea that’s making waves in the states and is sure to make a comeback at the national level. States like Ohio and Virginia have both adopted a version of the regulatory budgeting idea and they are even setting aggressive reduction goals on the order of 25 to 30%.
- Trump’s most famous regulatory policy was probably his “one-in, two-out” program where for every new rule two had to be eliminated. Intellectuals hated this simple policy, calling it a “gimmick” in the media. However, its simplicity also makes it useful as a communication device. This helps explain why Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Ohio and Oklahoma have all adopted some version of this policy since Trump took office.
- Trump, and populists generally, have a reputation for being anti-science. A lot of people don’t know this, but the data behind some of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most expensive air pollution regulations is not accessible to researchers. So the studies that justify billion-dollar regulations can’t be replicated because no one can access the data. The Trump administration created a requirement for the Environmental Protection Agency to give greater consideration to studies whereby the underlying health data is publicly available and reproducible. So, who in fact is anti-science here?
- The Trump administration was, in other ways, also more sensible on energy and climate issues. Trump instituted a National Environmental Policy Act reform to accelerate the approval of energy and infrastructure projects. Biden scaled back Trump’s reforms, but permitting reform will be critical to the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, a Biden priority. The progressive dream of a clean energy future won’t be possible if solar and wind farms, along with the transmission lines to connect them to the grid, can’t be built because permitting requirements and lawsuits drag projects out for years.
TRUTH IN BLOGGING: I served as Chief Economist of the FTC and DOJ/Antitrust during the Bush and Trump administrations.