November 09, 2010

John Cooney quoted in a mid-term report on the Obama Administration

2 min

Venable partner John Cooney was quoted in a November 1 InsideCounsel mid-term report discussing Obama Administration moves that could impact in-house counsel. The article cited the economic collapse, noting that the administration has had to put certain policy priorities on the back burner as a result.

With regard to greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the Clean Air Act (CAA), Cooney said, "The EPA and the administration told the public and Congress early in the president's tenure that they understood the CAA was not well devised to regulate GHG emissions. But if no statute passed Congress, they were determined to use their existing authority [under the CAA] to go ahead."

He added that he thinks the end game is control of the political debate once the matter re-emerges in Congress, noting that proposed laws to further defer implementation of the EPA regulations or to rewrite the CAA to bar regulations of GHGs altogether seem likely to compete with yet another attempt to write a law specifically addressing climate change.

"The litigation is an effort to establish the terms when Congress has to debate the issue," he said.

With regard to financial services regulation and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Cooney said, "The current system of financial disclosure never worked well. It's verbiage only a banking lawyer could love and no one ever reads."

He added that the complicated explanation of financial products could be stripped down to "a summary sheet that consumers could read and understand."