“This [executive] order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth.” —President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
Perhaps the Environmental Protection Agency received a different version of the President’s executive order. Regarding a compendium of greenhouse gas regulations that the EPA has issued this year, an op-ed in the Washington Times last week noted:
“Known as the ‘EPA train wreck,’ the regulations will force utilities to further reduce emissions of conventional pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and mercury even though the current emissions are not causing air-quality or public-health problems anywhere in America.
These rules are so oppressive that they’ve even frayed the alliance between radical environmentalists and labor. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers forecasts that 50,000 of its members and another 200,000 workers down the supply line will lose their jobs within three years.
That’s quite a toll for regulations that will bring no health or environmental benefits.”
What are House Republicans doing?
In order to ease the regulatory burden on the economy and to promote job creation, we will approve legislation that requires a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy. The House passed H.Res. 72 on February 11, 2011, a resolution that would direct ten standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed government regulations by agencies within their jurisdiction.
At a March 1, 2011 hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power investigating EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations and their effect on American jobs, Paul N. Cicio, President of Industrial Energy Consumers of America, testified, “To be sure, the list [of new regulatory initiatives] is staggering and of great concern because each come with a cost and regulatory uncertainty. Each of the initiatives will result in significant costs in their own right, but taken together they could be devastating. The phrase ‘dying of a thousand cuts’ has been used throughout industry to describe the concern. Secondly, the fact that many of these programs are interrelated, but have very different solutions, timetables and goals have resulted in so much regulatory uncertainty that investments in growth projects are virtually at a standstill.”