The Regulatory Week in Review: December 25, 2015

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The FAA’s mandatory drone registration period commences, the FDA publishes final guidance permitting blood donations from gay and bisexual men, and more…

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IN THE NEWS

  • As part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) newly-released rules aimed at tightening enforcement measures over recreational drones, the mandatory registration period for all recreational drone operators commenced on December 21—a date that the agency reportedly deliberately imposed in advance of the holidays, during which there is expected to be a spike in drone sales.
  • Changing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) prior unconditional ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, the agency published final guidance that permits such blood donations from one year after the individual’s most recent sexual contact—a length of time that Australia and the United Kingdom also use, but that HIV/AIDS advocates reportedly have stated is “offensive and harmful.”
  • Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders discussed proposed reforms to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, including changes to the board member appointment process by requiring presidential nomination and Senate approval and expanding the occupations represented, in an effort to “mak[e] the Federal Reserve a more democratic institution.”
  • In an effort to protect people from what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asserts are the dangers of tanning beds, the agency issued a proposed rule that would impose a slew of limits on the use of indoor tanning devices, including: restricting the use of these devices to those who are at least 18-years-old, mandating that tanning businesses inform the facilities’ customers of the devices’ health effects, and requiring that all customers sign a risk acknowledgment form.

WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK

  • In an issue brief published by Penn Wharton’s Public Policy Initiative, University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor David A. Skeel examined the Dodd-Frank Act—legislation passed after the 2008 financial crisis aimed at regulating risk-taking and increasing accountability in the financial sector. Professor Skeel argued that a weakness of the Dodd-Frank Act is that the legislation does not follow “rule of law” principles by allowing for discretion, such as in regulators’ decisions approving banks’ living wills or identifying proprietary trading.
  • On Penn Wharton’s Public Policy Initiative blog, Oumourumana Jalloh urged coal companies to comply with the Clean Power Plan, rather than challenging the regulations on the coal industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. Jalloh argued that compliance would reduce the expected harms of climate change on human health and the environment, and on the long-term business of coal companies.