Tuesday, March 15, 2011

GUEST COLUMN: "It`s Time to Overhaul and Eliminate Job Killing Federal Regulations" by Rep. Jean Schmidt

The President recently proposed a “government-wide review” of existing regulations to weed out the ones that have outlived their usefulness. I am pleased that President Obama said he wants to do something about the storm of regulations that have rained down on our economy, dampening the ability of our businesses to innovate and to compete in the world marketplace. However, I would respectfully request that the Administration pay particular attention to the new regulations they have proposed and promulgated.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that government regulations cover 150,000 pages with tiny type that could ruin your eyesight, your business -- and maybe your sanity. The Chamber says the cost to the economy of these regulations, some of which cross the line into just plain silly, is $1.7 trillion a year.
Rep. Jean Schmidt
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I hear all the time about actions undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency that defy sound science, good judgment and will only result in putting America’s farmers and ranchers out of business. At this very moment, the nation’s dairy farmers are trying to protect themselves from regulations that would treat milk as if it were motor oil. There is a clear difference between the two and no reason to require dairy farmers across the country to comply with costly, burdensome rules designed to control the storage of toxic substances.
The butterfat in milk caused it to fall under the requirements of the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Program. Just a few years ago, it appeared that common sense had prevailed over at the EPA and the agency proposed to exempt milk from the program’s requirements. Unfortunately, the proposed exemption was not finalized prior to the change in Administration and for the past 26 months the new EPA has been in the process of re-evaluating whether dairy farmers need to treat milk as if it were a toxic substance.
It is proposals like this one that cause most Americans to scratch their heads in wonder. Thankfully, a bipartisan group in both houses of Congress is drafting bills to force the EPA and other agencies to do the right thing. 
Federal regulations are sometimes necessary; even those most adversely affected by them will concede that point. But, rules and regulations that are unnecessary, not grounded in sound science, and lacking in common sense, need to be re-thought, changed, or eliminated. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the federal government is not hindering job creation through burdensome and unnecessary red tape.