Issue Spotlight

SmarterRegulation.org uses this page to highlight examples of areas where America can do better in terms of saving costs, protecting consumers, creating jobs, fostering competition, and avoiding unintended consequences.

Supporting Autonomous Vehicle Development

SmarterRegulation.org calls on state and federal leaders to promote regulations that will deliver the promise of autonomous vehicles to communities nationwide.  

In many communities across the United States, including Phoenix, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, the self-driving future is already here.  In these communities, autonomous vehicles are on the roads and leading to more jobs, safer streets, greater accessibility, and a cleaner environment. 

SmarterRegulation.org believes the AV future should be available everywhere and is concerned about state and federal regulations that constraint development of self-driving cars and that prevent autonomous vehicle manufacturers from fully deploying the technology.  

There are, for example, decades-old regulations on the books that limit the number of cars that can be produced without steering wheels, pedals, and other components.  These outdated regulations are holding back the promise of the self-driving future and require the attention of regulators and lawmakers from both parties.

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Protecting Savers by Avoiding Duplicitous Financial Regulations

SmarterRegulation.org calls on federal leaders to harmonize financial regulations and build on existing work, rather than promoting new rules for financial professionals that will put investment advice out of reach for many middle-class families.  

Over the last decade, state and federal regulators have put in place new consumer protections that are designed to ensure the financial advice that consumers receive is in their best interest.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Labor (DOL), National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and individual states have all adopted regulations and passed laws with consumer protection in mind. 

A key feature of these regulations and laws has been balance.  New rules, like the SEC’s “Best Interest Regulation,” have been crafted to protect consumers while also preserving their access to face-to-face financial advice.   

In 2022, there is speculation that the Department of Labor is going to depart from this long-standing, balanced-approach and rewrite its fiduciary rules in ways that have historically limited consumer choice and dried up access to financial advice for families with less than $100,000 in savings.   If in fact such rules are produced, they will stand in conflict with the approach taken by the SEC and states and potentially do more harm than good. 

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Promoting Strong Emissions Standards ​

SmarterRegulation.org calls on federal and state regulators to protect the environment by promoting strong, consistent emissions standards for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. 

In 2020, California adopted a rule that would require trucks to get below 90 percent of current emissions levels of nitrogen oxide by 2027.  New federal rules in this same space are on the horizon.  How these rules are written could potentially weaken—or enhance—California’s standard. 

SmarterRegulation.org supports federal action that compliments California’s leadership in this area.  Nitrogen oxide is a poisonous gas. Its pollution contributes to smog, and heavy duty trucks produce a disproportionate share of nitrogen oxide emissions.  The federal government is expected to soon release its own emission standards.  Federal rules should work in harmony with California’s approach. 

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