When laws are passed, they need to be applied to meet their goals. 

To do that standards need to be put in to place to implement and enforce laws. In a word — regulations.

That Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2017 may drastically change how this works. Why? Because the public does not support repealing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act and other popular laws that use evidence to protect the public's health and welfare. 

RAA weakens the ability of agencies to implement these laws by rewriting the entire process by which safeguards for Americans are enacted. The U.S. Senate will soon be voting on this bill. The House has passed it. If the RAA becomes law it will change the way federal agencies develop regulations.

The impact will be felt by everyone who cares about strong consumer protections and safeguards. These are safeguards related to such things as food safety, clean air, clean water, children's toys, car safety, workplace safety standards and financial safeguards. 

The proposed RAA legislation will make it so hard to create new regulations that it would paralyze agencies working to establish even the most basic rules and standards. RAA would also make reducing industry and banks' costs more important than protecting public health and safety.

By requiring that government agency regulations adopted are the least costly option, or satisfactorily justify why they are not, can very well mean popular protective laws will not do what they are meant to do. Rather the regulations will promote corporate profit over the health and safety. Agencies may be forced to ignore science by requiring them to finalize rules that ignore the benefits of things such as water, air or food safety. 

The consequences of RAA becoming law threaten nearly every law protecting us. Currently, all federal regulations must already be supported by good science and their ability to uphold the public's interest. It should stay that way.

What can you do? Immediately call or write Sen. Bob Casey and Sen. Patrick Toomey and ask them to oppose the Regulatory Accountability Act.

NORMA KLINE

Meadville

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