John M. Broder in the NYT:
Mr. Sunstein had his pick of jobs in the new administration. He chose the obscure regulatory affairs office as a potential laboratory for his sometimes iconoclastic views. He has challenged the utility of command-and-control-style federal regulation and has written favorably of programs to “name and shame” polluters as a way of getting them to clean up their operations without enforcement actions or fines. He has sought creative ways to encourage responsible economic and environmental behavior without using the heavy hand of the state.
Mr. Sunstein never really warmed to the proposed ozone rule, not least because it would, by law, be subject to revision again in 2013. He also noted that in nearly half of the E.P.A.’s own case studies, the cost of the new rule would outweigh the benefits, raising additional alarms....
“There was always a notion that they were looking for a regulation to use as an example of the reform initiative, a poster child, and this was potentially it,” said a senior E.P.A. official who asked not to be identified on a matter involving discussions with the White House. “We knew one was coming. We just didn’t know which one.”