Regulatory Reform Needs to be Reformed
There is much more to federal regulation of our lives, individually and industrially, than meets the eye.
For example, The Paris Agreement (PA) was negotiated by 195 countries and adopted Dec. 12, 2015, taking effect Nov. 4, 2016, and open for acceptance until April 21, 2017. No consequences apply to nations not in compliance with the PA objective to reduce global temperatures by 2°C by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. (It has been found that China is currently building 350 new coal-powered electric plants and has plans for 800 more during the next two decades.)
In our case, emission reduction is set to be 26-28% by 2025, assured by a litany of regulations in place and in process of implementation covering: vehicular fuel-use efficiency; efficient-energy use for commercial and residential buildings and appliances; and methane emission limits for landfills and the energy-producing sectors. What the Washington weasels have not publicly explained is that implementing these policies will:
- Result in over a $2.5 trillion loss in GDP by 2035
- Cost American families about $20,000 average in lost income
- Drastically impact the industrial economy that relies (87%) on carbon-based fuels for power, causing loss of 200,000 industrial and 400,000 jobs overall
- Provide negligible impact on global temperatures
What is involved here is an unparalleled expansion of the regulatory state. There has been an imposition of 229 major regulations since 2009 at an estimated cost of $108 billion annually, and an additional 144 major regulations are in the pipeline. Immediate reform of this road to ruin is of great national importance.
Actually, there were 2,353 new rules issued in 2015, with 81 counted as “major” (those that have $10 billion or more national cost impact). You also need to know that, at last count, 277,000 federal employees being paid with taxpayer dollars are busy writing more regulations every day.
You’ll be thrilled to learn that an absence of honest cost analyses is a major dysfunctional mark on the rule-making process. Would you believe that federal agencies often mask their politically driven intentions as scientifically based support for their rulemaking? It is a regular situation for agencies defining regulations to fail to perform scientific and economic analyses to justify reason for rules and to ignore evidence that contradicts the agency’s agenda. This factor has often been cited as the major concern for regulatory generation reform. Regulatory cost estimates are notoriously inaccurate, imprecise and subject to manipulation.
You should also know that within the Office of Management and Budget (a White House adjunct) is the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is outnumbered 6,000 to 1 by folks that write rules and regulations. Do you understand the phrase “honest accountability” and see the need for reform of the regulatory review process?
As the new Congress convenes in January, it would be appropriate for reform initiative(s) to be on the agenda. Several related items in the last Congress dithered off over the horizon. This should include consideration of:
- Congressional approval of major regulations
- Automatic revocation/removal of obsolete regulations
- Subject independent agencies (e.g., FCC and SEC) to OIRA reviews
- Require strict information quality standards
- Prohibit rule makers from reliance on “advocacy groups” (lobbyists)
Also recognize that too many inappropriate regulatory impositions are more than an American problem. For example, the U.S. cannot currently build the XL Pipeline across the Dakotas to haul American and Canadian petroleum south to Texas refineries and the Gulf for export. While the U.S. uses 18 million barrels per day, we import 10 million mostly from the Middle East. Our North American oil-producing sector has lost almost 1 million jobs over the past two years, while both the U.S. and Canada have economically recoverable reserves. One of the primarily problems is EPA regulation issues.
Do something. America needs help on these matters, and the kick-start must come from you.