“We're looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation.”
—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
In his speech to Congress on September 8th, President Obama said that he “ordered a review of all government regulations.” While the president attacks over-regulation with vigorous rhetoric, his actions speak far louder than his words. The Obama administration has publicly listed a total of 219 new job-killing regulatory actions under consideration for the upcoming year, each of which would have an estimated cost to our economy of $100 million or more, indicating that seven of those regulations would have an estimated economic impact of more than $1 billion each in job-destroying costs for job creators.
The Wrong Solution
The EPA’s new Boiler MACT (maximum achievable control technology) rules are exceedingly complex and unduly onerous. Together, these four rules span 276 pages and impose control and monitoring standards for 11 subcategories of boilers and process heaters that vary by design and fuel type. These rules require boiler owners to conduct emissions testing and comply with complex control standards. Hospitals, factories, universities, farms, and thousands of major American employers will be directly impacted by these rules.
EPA officials have estimated that the capital cost of implementing these rules will be $9.5 billion. A recent study prepared by IHS Global Insight puts the figure at more than $14 billion with over 230,000 jobs at risk. Another study by the American Forest and Paper Association had concluded that for the forest products sector alone, the final Boiler MACT rules put at risk over 20,000 jobs, or 18% of the entire workforce, for U.S. pulp and paper mills.
The Right Solution
The EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, H.R. 2250, would alleviate the excessive regulatory burden placed on employers by the EPA’s Boiler MACT rules by replacing them with sensible, achievable rules that do not destroy jobs. The bill is being considered in the House this week as part of the House GOP plan for job creation, which includes a focus on preventing or reversing the negative impact of over-regulation.