What current news issue shows the impact of regulatory policy, and what regulatory agency is responsible?
The April 5, 2010 explosion of Upper Big Branch South Mine near the community Montcoal in West Virgina shows the impact of regulatory policy. The explosion was preceded by the detection of high levels of methane gas. A spark from a "mantrap" may have ignited the methane. The regulatory agency is the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Three regulatory issues are highlighted because of the catastrophe. The first is that policy implemented in the Obama White House is the same as that inherited from the George W. Bush White House and it imposes non-beneficial analytical and time burdens on MSHA.
The second is that a change of rule is needed to procedures for determining a charge against a mine for a "pattern of violations." Such a charge allows MSHA to shut a mine down. The third is that, following MSHA's investigation and report, new rules may need to be made to require mines to adopt new technology.