American Elephants


Foolish Rules and Stupid Regulations. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal last week to show how serious his new interest in creating jobs and relieving the unemployment  situation is. He was set on reducing unnecessary regulation that hampered business, like regulating saccharine.

Businesses have told us over and over that they are troubled by uncertainty.  They don’t know how much taxes they’ll have to pay next year.  They don’t know what ObamaCare is going to do to them;  they don’t know what energy is going to cost and what regulations will come along with that; and they don’t know what new business regulations will be imposed, nor what regulations the EPA is going to issue to hamper their business.

Obama doesn’t seem to know what to do about jobs, for he seems to think that all useful economic activity is a result of government spending.  So his inclination is to offer some benefit, as he grudgingly agreed to refrain from raising taxes on those who filed with incomes over $200,000 to $250,000; then in the State of the Union made it clear that he would raise their taxes as soon as possible.  He lifts the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf; but the new regulations and the new restrictions mean than permits are not being issued.  While he is asking for more job creation, his EPA is issuing one regulation after another to interfere with business.

The president says he wants to dump regulations that are “just plain dumb,” so we’d nominate a rule that subjects dairy farmers to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program which was created in 1970 to prevent oil discharges in navigable waters or near shorelines.  The EPA has discovered that milk contains “a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil,” as the agency said in the Federal Register.

Not long ago we were reading about the EPA intention to regulate farm dust as particulates that are not in compliance with the Clean Air Act.  I don’t know what happened to that one, but it was a clear indication that no one at the EPA has ever driven down a rural road in the summer.  Many rural roads are unpaved, farm fields get plowed, and forest roads are seldom paved. The EPA is light in the science department, and well populated with environmental zealots.

I remain convinced that most environmental zealots are city people who are totally unfamiliar with the environment that they attempt so assiduously to regulate.  Nature really isn’t as gentle and peaceful as greeting cards would have you believe, and the consequences aren’t always pretty.

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