Week in Review

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Regulatory reform plans, greater airline passenger protections, online greenhouse gas reporting, and more.

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  • In response to President Obama’s executive order on regulatory reform, federal agencies released their final plans for cutting burdensome regulations, unveiling hundreds of changes that are estimated to save billions of dollars. Criticism of the regulatory reform plans ranged from describing the administration’s cost-cutting as a “regulatory bait-and-switch” in which no real savings were achieved, to faulting the government for “under regulat[ing]” industry and not providing agencies with enough resources.
  • The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued emergency rules to regulate fracking in the state until lawmakers can act, in response to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s executive order of July 2011. The new rules deal largely with water use and management and certification of site construction and sediment control plans. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie issued a conditional veto of legislation that would permanently ban fracking in the state, calling instead for a one-year moratorium while further study is completed by state and federal agencies. See related The Regulatory Review essay.
  • Federal Trade Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch reportedly said the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not ready to endorse “do-not-track” regulations for online advertisers who create targeted ads for users based on their browsing history, but suggested that the FTC should continue to study the issue.