Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs

The Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division develops, implements, and advocates U.S. Chamber policy on issue areas of vital importance to the business community: environment, energy, natural resources, food safety, biotechnology, agriculture, technology, and regulatory processes.

Latest Reports

Sue and Settle Updated: Damage Done 2013-2016
May 2017

Sue and Settle Updated: Damage Done 2013-2016 updates the Chamber’s 2013 report, Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors. The study found that EPA increased its use of sue and settle agreements under the Clean Air Act since the last report. 

The EPA entered into 77 Clean Air Act consent decrees between 2013-2016 compared to 60 between 2009-2012. The sue and settle tactic allowed activist groups without meaningful public participation to reprioritize agency agendas and resources which in turn led to rules costing the economy billions of dollars annually.

Additionally, sue and settle agreements have increasingly been the root of federal rules that encroach on state and local level environmental decision making.

Taming the Administrative State: Identifying Regulations That Impact Jobs and the Economy
March 2017

This new study seeks to inform policymakers and the public about the number and type of regulations that impose the greatest impact on the business community, consumers, and ultimately the U.S. economy. 

The analysis, which examined federal rules finalized from 2008-2016, found that only 140 regulations out of more than 32,000 had costs exceeding $100 million.  Also, it found an even smaller number of 28 “high-impact rules” or regulations that each cost more than $1 billion annually. 

The report identifies the most costly and transformative regulations so that Congress and federal agencies are better able to develop a process that will ensure future regulations achieve congressional intent and avoid agency overreach.


Read more ETRA Reports

Recent Activity

CommentMay 09, 2017 - 12:15pm

Comments to EPA on Evaluation of Existing Regulations


Above the FoldSep 08, 2016 - 10:00am

How Our Regulatory System Broke, And Why We Must Fix It.

Today, unnamed government bureaucrats, instead of elected members of Congress, make the vast majority of rules coming out of Washington.

Above the FoldJun 07, 2017 - 11:15am
Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, listens to testimony during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Why the Regulatory Accountability Act Would Be a Win for Small Business

For a top Senator Orrin Hatch, the answer lies in smarter, more effective federal regulations.

ReportMay 26, 2017 - 3:30pm

Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors

"Sue and Settle" refers to when a federal agency agrees to a settlement agreement, in a lawsuit from special interest groups, to create priorities and rules outside of the normal rulemaking process. The agency intentionally relinquishes statutory discretion by committing to timelines and priorities that often realign agency duties. These settlement agreements are negotiated behind closed doors with no participation from the public or affected parties.

TestimonyMay 24, 2017 - 2:00pm

Testimony to House Oversight Subcommittee on Hearing on Examining 'Sue and Settle' Agreements - Part I

Statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ON: Hearing on Examining "Sue and Settle" Agreements: Part I

ReportMay 24, 2017 - 9:45am

Sue and Settle Updated: Damage Done 2013-2016

Sue and Settle Updated: Damage Done 2013-2016 updates the Chamber’s 2013 report, Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors.  The study found that EPA increased its use of sue and settle agreements under the Clean Air Act since the last report.  The EPA entered i

Above the FoldMay 22, 2017 - 10:45am
May 18, 2017 - Washington, DC, USA: U.S. Invest In America Summit, featuring Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin. With Tom Donohue, and Myron Brilliant.    Photo by Joshua Roberts / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Just Another Week At the Chamber…

VP Pence and more.

CommentMay 19, 2017 - 3:45pm

Comments to EPA on Proposal to Further Delay Effective Date of Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule

VIA ELECTRONIC FILING TO: James BelkeU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyOffice of Land and Emergency Management1200 Pennsylvania Ave NWMail Code 5104AWashington, DC 20460

EventMay 19, 2017 - 8:30am to 9:30am

TecTalk with Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Join C_TEC and the U.S. Chamber’s Telecommunications & E-Commerce Committee as we welcome U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn for a TecTalk on Broadband Infrastructure as part of Infrastructure Week.

Press ReleaseMay 18, 2017 - 12:15pm

U.S. Chamber Welcomes the FCC’s ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ Rulemaking

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology, & Regulatory Affairs William Kovacs issued the following statement today following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to formally begin the “Restoring Internet Freedom” rulemaking: