Scientists' Critique Shelves Bush Proposal:

In an effort to encourage greater risk prioritization and regulatory cost-effectiveness, the Office of Management and Budget developed new guidelines for risk assessments conducted by government agencies. The aim was to create a set of guidelines to ensure agency risk estimates used to develop regulations would be reliable and consistent. Various activist groups criticized the plan, arguing that it would become an obstacle to the adoption of more protective health, safety, and environmental regulations.

Perhaps in response to public criticism, the OMB submitted its plan to the National Research Council for comment. According to an article in today's W$J, the NRC was not fond of OMB's plan, calling it "too simplistic" and "fundamentally flawed." rather than increase the reliability and consistency of agency risk assessments, the NRC concluded the proposal could "create confusion." As a result (and here is the surprise), the Administration is shelving the plan, at least in its current form. According to the Journal story, neither OMB's acting regulatory chief nor the head of the NRC panel "could recall an earlier instance where a panel of outside scientists had prompted the withdrawal of a White House policy initiative."

UPDATE: Here is the National Research Council release summarizing the report. The report itself can be accessed here.

Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Well, on the topic of federal regulations, any autistic would know the inherent flaws in validity of the rule-making process -- namely, the fact the comments process is not in compliance with the electronic assistive technology device reasonable accomodations mandate of Sec. 504 &508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Hence, in certain instances, such regulation would fail Chevron deference. Just something to think about.
1.12.2007 11:13am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
I wish we had more info about the plan. While my gut instinct is to trust scientists more than other government officials the editorial didn't really have enough info for me to have a more informed opinion than this.
1.12.2007 12:16pm
Shelby (mail):
Since this discussion isn't exactly rollicking along, I suggest an alternative one. In the post preceding this one David Bernstein posted regarding a Palestinian murder and observed how little comment it's gotten. Of course, his own post has gotten no comment, because he apparently disabled comments.

I understand why he probably did this - his posts on Israeli and/or Palestinian issues often generate (in the comments) more heat than light. Nevertheless, and despite several obvious counter-examples, commenters at the VC are among the best in the Web. Much or most of this site's value lies in the comments.

I suggest that, if a member of VC is interested enough in something to write a post, he should trust that viewers will be interested enough to make useful comments. In other words, if you won't let us comment, don't post.

1.12.2007 2:45pm
Chris B (mail):
I'll add another off topic comment...

The use of a dollar sign ($) to abbreviate Wall Street Journal seems quite juvenile and below the usual standard of commentary (by the principals) of this blog.
1.12.2007 4:25pm
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
Chris B --

I started using the W$J abbreviation for the Wall Street Journal when the article is only available to paid subscribers, as I got tired of noting this each and every time it was the case. I adopted this convention after seeing it used by other bloggers.

1.12.2007 4:31pm
Chris B:
Interesting. Obviously I'd never seen that before. Do they use Times$elect, too?
1.14.2007 6:22pm