Top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa asked 150 industry groups which of President Obama’s regulations they think are impeding economic growth.
The results are in: On Monday, Issa released 1,947 pages of almost unreadable letters from a slew of trade associations specifying complaints on government regulations that reach almost every part of American industry.
The letters are boring because they tackle highly technical subjects. For instance, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association warned that an update to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) on the chemical formaldehyde could negatively impact economic growth.
But those letters are important because millions – sometimes billions – of dollars are at stake to businesses that drive the American economy.
In the case of the formaldehyde IRIS update, the issue is a study on the cancer risks of formaldehyde, a chemical used in $145 billion worth of products in the U.S. and Canada each year, according to an industry group defending the chemical.
From more than 100 different new regulations either proposed or finalized by the Obama administration, these are the five business groups hate the most, based on the number of separate organizations that wrote Issa to recommend he look into them:
1. EPA climate change regulations
Though cap and trade was defeated in Congress, the EPA is sprinting to finalize its own regulations that would mandate reduced carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gasses” scientists think are warming the planet.
Besides whether the EPA should be addressing global warming without a congressional mandate, the mechanism Obama plans to use is particularly burdensome. Environmentalists originally used the EPA-only approach as a threat to spur congressional action, thinking the doomsday scenario of that plan going forward would spur Republicans and industry groups to come to the negotiating table. That didn’t work, and now the regulations are going forward.
Thirty separate industry groups wrote Issa about the EPA’s “tailoring rule,” a legally questionable approach to limit the regulations to only major factories and industrial facilities. If the tailoring rule falls in court, six million new facilities would be subject to EPA regulations for the first time, including more than 3 million single-family homes. That would be regulatory Armageddon, even according to the EPA.
Twenty-three groups wrote about the regulations on the big industrial facilities to control for carbon dioxide emissions. Groups warn the regulations will be costly and unworkable.
2. OSHA’s “occupational noise” regulation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed a new regulation in October that would have put strict new regulations on the volume of noise experienced by workers on the job.
But the outcry over the cost and feasibility of the new regulations was so great the agency abandoned the regulation on Jan. 19, promising to start over after consulting with key members of Congress including Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Independent.
Still, industry groups are wary, and 29 of them wrote Issa about where the Obama administration is heading on this issue. The groups concerned about the matter include a who’s who of manufacturing sectors such as the American Iron and Steel Institute and the National Tooling and Machining Association.