With Election Over, Administration Unleashes New Rules

December 17, 2012

While the debates in Washington center on the fiscal cliff, a lesser known "regulatory cliff" is one that could be just as damaging to the economy, says the Associated Press.

During the first term of the Obama administration, many major regulations were proposed and passed. However, several of the regulations were postponed. This is because the administration wanted to quell criticisms about the regulations during the re-election campaign.

  • New Environmental Protection Agency rules could cost manufacturers hundreds of billions of dollars -- up to $111 billion by government estimates and $138 billion by industry estimates -- and cut millions of jobs.
  • One of the high profile delays is on stricter limits for lung-damaging smog, which was shunned by the Bush administration, proposed by the Obama administration, but then halted because of the regulatory burdens and uncertainty in a fragile economy.

Now that the Obama administration has been granted a second term, several agencies will go forward with the proposed regulations. These regulations will include:

  • Stricter regulations on Wall Street.
  • Air and water pollution standards.
  • Requiring automakers to include event data recorders.
  • Many major regulations included in the new health care bill.

Republican lawmakers and many businesses are worried that the combination of all these regulations will reverse economic growth and kill thousands of jobs. Since many of the regulations will target energy and environmental standards, many Americans are likely to see a rise in their electricity bills.

Environmental groups have responded by arguing the regulations are piecemeal and won't have any major ramifications on the overall economy. Furthermore, some argue that the regulations are long overdue and that they are essential to public health and safety.

To lessen the impact of the new regulations, the Obama administration has ordered all federal agencies to remove rules that were excessive, burdensome, redundant or inconsistent. This is supposed to save businesses about $10 billion over five years and create jobs, and offset the impact of proposed regulations.

Source: "Election Over, Administration Unleashes New Rules," Associated Press, December 13, 2012.

 

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