States Get Tough on Overregulation, But What about the EPA?

Mar 8, 2011

by Bill Kovacs

Is tough new action taken by some governors and state legislatures against burdensome and job-killing regulation developing into a trend? Just a few days after Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation to accelerate and simplify environmental review and permitting processes, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) issued an executive order requiring state agencies to draw up a statement that describes a proposed regulation’s cost to government and businesses before implementation. The governor says the requirement would help meet his campaign pledge of creating 200,000 new jobs in the next five years.

Time will tell whether these new policies are strictly enforced and meet their desired objectives to the benefit of Minnesotans and Iowans. But residents of those states can only hope that their state agencies are more responsive than the federal EPA, which has consistently failed to adhere to a host of laws enacted by Congress to ensure that regulatory cost benefit analyses are carried out and that Americans are given a fair opportunity to participate in the regulatory process. Even though sections of environmental law mandate that EPA conduct a jobs impact analysis, it has not done one in 30 years.

The EPA has even thumbed its nose at the president’s recent executive order requiring agencies to undergo a thorough review of regulations. Immediately after the president’s order, EPA issued a statement saying that it was “confident” it would not need to alter a single current or pending rule, because its regulations are “among the most cost-effective in the government.”

It’s become increasing apparent that the EPA has gone rogue, ignoring congressional intent and presidential directives. That is why the Chamber, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Congress yesterday outlining EPA abuses and urging members of Congress to reclaim their appropriate authority over the agency.

While there is a compelling need to protect America’s citizens and natural resources, it must be done in a manner that does not harm our economy. Unfortunately, all too often EPA provides little consideration to the jobs lost or economic consequences of its actions. 

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