Smart Regulation New Business Roundtable Report: A Smarter Regulatory System Would Reinvigorate U.S. Economy, Drive Growth and Innovation

May 14, 2021

Washington – Business Roundtable today released “Smart Regulation for the Innovation Economy,” a new report outlining how modernizing and improving the U.S. regulatory system would reinvigorate the economy, foster innovation and help meet infrastructure and clean energy goals. 

“We share President Biden’s goals of creating more American jobs, transitioning to a lower carbon energy future and ensuring the United States remains at the forefront of global innovation. As the nation rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, these goals are even more important to help rebuild the U.S. economy and increase opportunity for Americans,” said Business Roundtable Smart Regulation Committee Chair Douglas L. Peterson, President and CEO of S&P Global Inc. “In order to achieve these goals, it is critical that the Biden Administration prioritize modernizing the U.S. permitting and regulatory system in a way that delivers for all stakeholders while minimizing harmful effects on innovation, economic growth and the American people. We urge the Administration and Congress to build on recent regulatory progress in the months and years ahead.”

The report’s recommendations focus on: 

1. Adapting infrastructure permitting to 21st century timetables and climate goals; 

2. Improving the regulatory process to foster innovation and economic opportunity; and 

3. Strengthening international regulatory cooperation to protect and promote the benefits of a smarter regulatory system. 

The report makes the following recommendations for policymakers: 

• Address the FAST-41 sunset, currently set at the end of 2022. The sunset is already deterring project sponsors from opting into the process. 

• Reinstate parts of E.O. 13807 (which, among other provisions, expanded FAST-41 reforms to more projects) including the two-year goal, multi-agency coordination requirements, dispute resolution processes, and “One Federal Decision” framework.

• Uphold provisions of the CEQ NEPA rule from July 2020 that add presumptive timelines, coordination of reviews, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

• Commit to earlier public notification and opportunity for input on rulemakings.

• Include planning for retrospective review in major rulemakings.

• Hold independent regulatory commissions to the same standards as other agencies. 

• Improve agency coordination to avoid duplication and overlap.

• Expand on President Obama’s E.O. 13609 by issuing a new order that would promote a whole-of-government approach to identifying differences between U.S. and international regulatory approaches and direct agencies to consider international regulatory implications during the rulemaking process.

The full report is available here.