Think EPA Is Overreaching Now? Just Wait Until After the Election
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But my experience in running companies is radically different from how academics talk about startups, which is why I trust my gut that the pressure from government regulators is crippling American hiring. In the real world, the degree of uncertainty is overwhelming and hard to quantify.
Barron’s reports that regulatory uncertainty is staring businesses straight in the eye because of costly rules coming down the pipe:
The CEOs are keeping the other wary eye glued to the Federal Register, where final rules from government departments and agencies are announced and published after passing through the bureaucratic pipeline. Post-election, the Environmental Protection Agency alone could wreak havoc on the economy with a flood of new mandates that will cost businesses hundreds of billions of dollars. According to Bill Kovacs, senior vice president for the environment, technology, and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there were 620 rules in the EPA pipeline three years into the Obama administration, versus 412 in the pipeline three years into the Bush administration. That's a 50% increase. What's more, some of the rules are "really big," says Kovacs.
"Think of how much of a change these 620 proposals might represent," he says. "It makes it difficult to engage in a planning cycle. What equipment do you use? How exactly do you build it to comply with changing regulations? How do you amortize the cost of using it?"
Barron’s mentions a few of the rules that could be dropped on businesses after the election:
- EPA’s Ozone Rule that the agency says will cost $90 billion annually.
- EPA’s particulate matter standards that are based on cherry-picked science.
- Proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing, used to produce oil and natural gas, that would stymie America’s energy boom.
A report by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) includes additional proposed regulations:
- Greenhouse gas rules that, in effect, ban conventional coal-fired power plants.
- Boiler MACT that would cost $1.8 billion annually according to a Heritage Foundation report.
- Cement MACT that threatens to close 18 cement plants and add “$20 to $36 to the cost of every ton of cement that small concrete Ready-Mix companies must purchase” according to testimony Kovacs gave to the House Judiciary Committee.