“We are taking immediate steps to save individuals, businesses, and state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars every year in regulatory burdens.”
—Cass Sunstein, Obama administration “Regulatory Czar”
Wall Street Journal op-ed, May 25, 2011
The disconnect continues between the Obama administration’s stated intent and the actions of its regulatory apparatus. With prominent op-eds and executive orders proclaiming the need to reduce barriers to job creation, one could be forgiven for expecting a reprieve from the onslaught of new job-destroying regulations. Yet the rule making and economic tinkering continues.
A report released last week by the Heritage Foundation highlighted the administration’s regulatory pace:
"In the first six months of the 2011 fiscal year, 15 major regulations were issued, with annual costs exceeding $5.8 billion and one-time implementation costs approaching $6.5 billion. No major rulemaking actions were taken to reduce regulatory burdens during this period. Overall, the Obama Administration imposed 75 new major regulations from January 2009 to mid-FY 2011, with annual costs of $38 billion. There were only six major deregulatory actions during that time, with reported savings of just $1.5 billion."
Although President Obama and his “Regulatory Czar” talk about their desire to reform the federal government’s approach to regulation, the road to economic stagnation is paved with good intentions. Considering the hundreds of yet unwritten rules under Dodd-Frank, the apparently capricious waiver granting under the government takeover of health care, and the backdoor approach to cap-and-tax of the EPA, it is no wonder that America’s job creators and small business owners remain on the sidelines.
What are House Republicans doing?
Concluding a nearly year-long campaign to save the Portland cement industry from job-crushing EPA regulations, the House GOP Conference Secretary’s “Reg Watch Update” recently highlighted the introduction of bipartisan legislation by Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Mike Ross (D-AR), together with Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Bob Latta (R-OH), Greg Walden (R-OR), Joe Barton (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX), Charles Dent (R-PA), and others.
According the Energy and Commerce Committee, H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, would seek to replace the EPA’s series of complex rules affecting the manufacture of Portland cement, rules that would create significant construction cost increases and shutdown an estimated 20 percent of the American cement industry.
Portland cement is the world’s number one building product, and the Portland Cement Association estimates the draconian EPA rules would cost the industry up to $5.4 billion in added costs per year, eliminating up to 4,000 jobs in the cement industry, and another 12,000 to 19,000 jobs in the construction industry. In an ironic twist, the resulting shift of cement manufacturing overseas could result in greater global mercury emissions, including airborne dispersion in North America, due to the near total lack of environmental controls in countries such as China.
Click here for more on the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators.