American Elephants

Who Are The Most Powerful People in Washington? by The Elephant's Child

Another great video from Praeger University. A look behind the scenes in Washington D.C. Congress has long passed off their administrative duties to the federal government bureaus. The administrative stuff takes time and effort away from trying to get reelected, and Congress has illegally passed their duties on to unaccountable bureaucrats, who have to come up with good ideas to earn their pay and demonstrate their value.

The result is millions of pages of unnecessary regulation that interfere with economic growth and prosperity. It’s much harder to get rid of unneeded regulations than it is to enact them.

Some federal agencies should be moved to the parts of the country that they are regulating. Why is the Agriculture Department in Washington D.C.? Why is it not in farm country, like Kansas?

Is the EPA Sustainable When they Keep Killing Jobs? by The Elephant's Child

The president promises to do everything he can to create  jobs to get the unemployment rate down from its disastrous 9,2 level. Concurrently, the Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of Administrator Lisa Jackson, issues a new set of standards designed to kill jobs right and left.

John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable warns that:

there is nothing reasonable or balanced about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to tighten national air-quality standards for ozone emissions at this time.  For one thing, it’s premature, coming a full two years before the EPA is scheduled to complete its own scientific study of ozone emissions in 2013.

The EPA’s new standards are currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget but could end up on the president’s desk in the next few days.  If implemented, they would reduce the existing 0.075 parts per million (ppm) ozone standard under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards program to 0.070 ppm or even 0.060 ppm.

The EPA has stated that considering economic effects and jobs is not part of their assignment. That is abundantly clear.  They do estimate that these new standards could cost business anywhere from $20 billion to $90 billion annually. New businesses would need to get emission offsets and install controls.  Existing businesses would face retrofit requirements just to keep operating the way they have for years.

Businesses are already complaining about excessive regulation made without consideration of its real world effect on business. This kind of new regulation is sure to seriously affect economic expansion and to discourage capital investment in the counties affected.  Higher costs, more uncertainty means not only layoffs, but marginal businesses would be closed and new facilities would be likely to be sited elsewhere, including outside the country.

Numerous studies indicate that the air is consistently growing cleaner under existing standards, and the EPA’s quest for ever finer particulates becomes more excessive. The president’s claim that he is reviewing government agencies to remove excessive regulation that harms business expansion is belied by EPA actions.  At least new rules should await the scientific review now under way.

And I thought the banning of CFCs in primatene mist inhalers for asthmatics was excessive!

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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