Public Citizen, NRDC, and CWA v. Donald Trump, et al.
This action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to President Trump’s January 30 Executive Order on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The Order directs agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to repeal for every new regulation proposed or issued and to promulgate regulations during fiscal year 2017 that, together with repealed regulations, have combined incremental costs of $0 or less, regardless of the benefits. The complaint explains that “The Executive Order will block or force the repeal of regulations needed to protect health, safety, and the environment, across a broad range of topics—from automobile safety, to occupational health, to air pollution, to endangered species.” The mandated regulatory approach is unlawful and uncomstitutional.
The Order will lead to direct harm to citizens. It mandates that, when implementing the command to repeal at least two rules for each new one, agencies must focus on costs while ignoring benefits. Indeed, the Order directs agencies to disregard the benefits of new and existing rules —including benefits to consumers, to workers, to people exposed to pollution, and to the economy—even when the benefits far exceed costs. The Order’s direction to federal agencies to zero out costs to regulated industries, while entirely ignoring benefits to the Americans whom Congress enacted these statutes to protect, will force agencies to take regulatory actions that harm the people of this nation.