Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5 Business Unfriendly EPA Regulations

During his SOTU speech last month, President Obama said he wants to help businesses get back to hiring and one of the ways he is going to help is to get rid of job killing regulations. Over at the Daily Caller, they have a list of five regulations Obama could get rid to help stimulate job growth. I’ll give you the highlights and my take, but read the whole story here.

1. EPA Climate Change Regulations. Since Congress thwarted Obama’s plans to pass a massive Capt and Trade bill, he has directed the EPA to put many of the Cap and Trade provisions in to effect through EPA regulations. Many businesses and even some homeowners could be impacted if the EPA has their way. Hopefully Congress will be able to dull the fangs of the EPA.

2. OSHA’s “occupational noise” regulation. I actually happen to think that have a form of regulation to reduce the impact of noise on workers is actually a good idea. Longer term exposure to loud and persistent noise can cause deafness. But the proposed regulation, which was rescinded over cost concerns, might be taking things beyond the abilities of current technology. Reducing noise is a good thing, but laying off workers due to the cost of regulation implementation is not a good thing.

3. EPA’s new restriction on ozone protection. This would drive an unnecessary burden back on the states in a time when states are struggling with budget cuts brought on by less revenue due to the lagging economy.

4. Implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. This one was bound to be a burden on businesses that give credit and need credit. It increases the cost of doing both. Credit companies are burdened with costly reports and a cap on fees. And borrowers find it more difficult to find money unless they are rock-solid. This part could have a huge impact on entrepreneurs as they attempt to find money to fund start ups.

5. EPA’s new training requirements for renovation projects. Older building have lead based paint and other hazards that were used in the original construction. New regulations that require a certain level of training are costly and non-compliance is also costly ($37,000/day fines). I don’t know if these new rules apply to those who own homes that might have these hazardous materials. Either way, there are regulation already in place that covers the requirements for hazard abatement.

Implementing new rules and regulations to help preserve the environment are not necessarily bad things. The Clean Air and Water acts have done a tremendous amount of good over the long haul. The implementation of these acts were costly, occasionally prohibitively so. But now is not the time to put extra burdens on the drivers of our economy. Obama, Lisa Jackson (EPA Chief), and Congressional Democrats need to ask themselves if implementing these rules at this time is really necessary. When the American economy is humming and businesses are making profits, extra regulations can be absorbed. But when companies are laying off people and not hiring, requiring them to spend more money on environmental regulations is a bad idea. The tree-huggers cannot expect businesses to hire and absorb the costs of these new regulations at the same time.

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