Regulatory Recap: March 7 to March 13, 2011

The Regulatory Recap returns after spring break at the University of Pennsylvania: The Energy and Power Subcommittee, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, held a hearing to examine the greenhouse gas regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Members of the full committee had already introduced a bill to amend the Clean Air Act to strip the EPA of authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. See related RegBlog posts. The EPA extended the March 31 deadline for industry to submit 2010 data to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program to enable the EPA to first finalize its online reporting platform. See related RegBlog post. The EPA released a report detailing the costs and benefits of the Clean Air Act between 1990 and 2010. In Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 does not preempt state tort actions against manufacturers who installed lap seatbelts instead of lap-and-shoulder belts. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reportedly voted to consider playing a bigger role in retransmission consent negotiations between cable companies and broadcasters, such as by "strengthen[ing] its definition of good-faith negotiations." The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology approved a resolution to overturn the FCC's recent rules promoting network neutrality. See related RegBlog post. The House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law held another legislative hearing on the REINS Act, which would require Congress to approve major rules proposed by regulatory agencies. See related RegBlog post. A pending bill in the New Jersey Legislature would prohibit new regulatory standards that are more stringent than federal standards, limiting the power of state agencies. The Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director, Jeffrey Zients, and President Obama's former Staff Secretary, Lisa Brown, are leading a 90-day effort to reorganize twelve federal trade and export agencies. See related RegBlog post.

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