Daren Bakst

Senior Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy

The Heritage Foundation

Daren Bakst

Senior Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy

The Heritage Foundation

Daren Bakst is the Senior Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy at the Heritage Foundation. In this position, Bakst studies and writes about agricultural and environmental policy and property rights, among other issues. He has done extensive work on the farm bill and is taking the lead on Heritage’s efforts to reshape the farm bill debate well before any new farm bill is proposed. His agriculture portfolio is extremely broad, covering everything from agricultural subsidies, agricultural trade, to food policy issues such as GMO food labeling and the FDA’s de facto artificial trans-fat ban.

In the environmental arena, Bakst does a significant amount of work on the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other critical environmental statutes. His recent efforts have focused extensively on the EPA and the Corps’ “Waters of the United States” rule, as well as EPA’s proposed ozone standards. As a long-time proponent of strengthening property rights, Bakst has been promoting the need for eminent domain reform in light of the 10-year anniversary of the infamous Kelo v. City of New London case.

Bakst frequently submits comments to regulatory agencies and has appeared in or been quoted by a wide range of media outlets such as The Wall Street JournalUSA TodayThe Washington Times, CNN, Fox Business News, Al-Jazeera America, and U.S. News and World Report.

Before joining the Heritage Foundation, Bakst was a policy counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he focused on regulatory reform, environmental policy, as well as food and agricultural policy. He served as the executive to the association’s Government Oversight, Operations & Consumer Affairs committee, which was responsible for issues such as regulatory process reform.

He worked for seven years at the Raleigh, N.C.-based John Locke Foundation, one of the largest state-based, free-market think tanks. As director of legal and regulatory studies, his broad portfolio included constitutional law, energy and environmental policy, and property rights.

Bakst serves on the Federalist Society’s Environmental Law and Property Rights Executive Committee and was a member of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council. He also serves on the College Level Advisory Board for Constituting America, an organization that informs and educates about the importance of the U.S. Constitution.

Bakst, who hails from West Palm Beach, Fla., received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University. A licensed attorney, he holds a law degree from University of Miami and a master of laws degree from American University.

Contributions

How Bad Regulations Harm the Environment

Daren Bakst

April 6, 2021

In a recent blog post for the New Civil Liberties Alliance entitled “Bad Regulations Destroy Our Environment,” Harriet Hageman describes the regulatory failures that created the perfect “environment” for the catastrophic forest fires that plagued the interior west for much of 2020.

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Deep Dive Episode 160 – The Myths and Facts Regarding the EPA’s Benefit-Cost Analysis and Science Transparency Rules

February 1, 2021

In this live podcast, subject-area experts examine the likely real-world impact of two new EPA rules.

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The EPA Should Properly Address the Abuse of Ancillary Benefits in CAA Rulemaking

Daren Bakst

November 20, 2020

When the EPA finalizes its recently proposed rule on the consideration of costs and benefits in CAA rulemaking, the agency should clarify that there are limits to applying indirect benefits, also known as “ancillary benefits” or “co-benefits,” in regulatory decision-making.

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Deep Dive Episode 135 – Evaluating the EPA’s Proposals to Retain the Existing Particulate Matter and Ozone Standards

October 7, 2020

Experts discuss the EPA’s recent proposals to retain both the existing particulate matter and ozone primary and secondary standards.

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EPA’s Section 401 Rule Respects Federalism While Addressing State Abuses

Daren Bakst

June 2, 2020

A central feature of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is cooperative federalism.  In fact, right at the start of the statute, Congress made it clear that states are expected to take the leading role in addressing water pollution.

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Deep Dive Episode 111 – The Truth About the EPA’s Science Transparency Rule

May 15, 2020

Richard Belzer, Daren Bakst, and Adam White discuss a proposed rule that would require the EPA to make public important information underlying both significant regulatory actions and influential scientific information disseminated by the Agency.

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Deep Dive Episode 90 – The New Definition of WOTUS

February 24, 2020

In this episode, Daren Bakst, Tony Francois, and John Paul Woodley discuss the new definition of WOTUS and its potential impacts.

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Deep Dive Episode 67 – The New Endangered Species Act Regulations

September 5, 2019

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marines Fisheries Service finalized several new Endangered Species Act regulations. In this episode, Jonathan Wood speaks to Daren Bakst on some of the controversy and legal challenges surrounding those new rules.

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Deep Dive Episode 50 – Analyzing the New Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States”

May 10, 2019

For decades, the EPA and Corps have struggled to come up with a proper definition that is both consistent with the plain language of the statute, respects the state role in addressing water pollution, and is consistent with the rule of law. In this episode, experts will discuss a recently proposed rule defining “waters of the United States” and its implications.

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Defining the “Waters of the United States”

Daren Bakst

April 23, 2019

To help provide important information and analysis on this proposed rule, the Federalist Society hosted a teleforum entitled “Analyzing the New Proposed Rule Defining ‘Waters of the United States.”

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Deep Dive Episode 29 – Analyzing how EPA is Addressing “Secret Science”

April 24, 2018

Daren Bakst (The Heritage Foundation) and Richard B. Belzer Ph.D. discuss EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s recent announcement on “secret science” and “how transparency in government can be strengthened and better inform policymaking.”

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