While millions of Americans prepare to stuff themselves with Turkey and pie, the Obama administration quietly released its plans for 2,224 federal rules Friday — a preview of just how many more regulations the president is attempting to issue before he leaves office.
President Barack Obama’s Unified Agenda for Fall 2015 is his administration’s regulatory road map and lays out thousands of regulations being finalized in the coming months. Obama has developed a habit of releasing the agenda late on Friday before a major holiday.
Indeed, Obama’s Spring 2015 agenda detailing the status of more than 2,300 regulations was released the eve of Memorial Day weekend. Obama’s Fall 2014 agenda featuring more than 3,400 regulations was also released the Friday before Thanksgiving.
While Obama’s latest release features fewer regulations than the last two, it shows the administration is determined to churn out as many rules as it can before the end of 2016. This includes major energy and environmental regulations coming down the pipe, like new rules for coal mines and rules banning common pesticides.
Obama has already put out several major environmental regulations this year, including limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, more federal control over U.S. waterways, new hydraulic fracturing regulations and stricter smog rules.
In the last week alone, the Obama administration imposed $1.8 billion in regulatory costs, according to a new report by the right-leaning American Action Forum (AAF). This brings the total cost of regulation in 2015 to a whopping $183 billion — about half from final rules and the other from proposed rules.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new smog limits turned out to be some of the costliest ever proposed by a federal agency.
The EPA says tighter smog, or ground-level ozone, limits would only cost $1.4 billion and yield much more in health benefits from less pollution. But AAF found that the EPA’s smog rule could end up costing 40 times more than the agency predicted based on the experience of counties not in compliance with older agency smog rules.
“Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAF policy experts.
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