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Executive Order 12866: An Analysis of the New Executive Order on Regulatory Planning and Review

February 1994

Citation: ELR 10070

Author: Ellen Siegler

On September 30, 1993, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12866,1 a new executive order (E.O.) on regulatory planning and review to replace E.O.s 122912 and 12498.3 At the signing ceremony, he identified several objectives of the new E.O., including "get[ting] rid of useless, outdated and unnecessary regulations"; implementing a regulatory review process that would be "fair, streamlined, responsive, and much more straightforward"; eliminating "the days of back-door access to undermining the regulatory process"; and "let[ting] ordinary regulations be done in a more timely fashion, where the people who are going to be affected by them have more front-end involvement."4 He added, "This order will lighten the load for regulated industries and make government regulations that are needed more efficient."5

Consistent with these objectives, E.O. 12866 announces broad policies intended to make the regulatory process more efficient, establishes procedures for coordination of federal agencies' regulatory planning, and sets forth new procedures for the review of regulatory actions by the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and by the Office of the Vice President. E.O. 12866 does not change dramatically the function of the OMB as coordinator of federal agency regulatory actions. Nor does it ostensibly reduce OIRA authority to review administrative actions as the OIRA retains responsibility for reviewing agency regulatory agendas and all "significant" regulatory actions.

Ellen Siegler is a Senior Attorney at the American Petroleum Institute (API). The author thanks Mary Ellen Joyce, a Senior Regulatory Analyst at the API, for her contributions to this Dialogue. The views expressed in this Dialogue are the author's and do not necessarily represent the views of the API.

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