For the President, the Environmental Protection Agency – which has drawn the ire of many aggravated business owner for comments that became public last month – has become a distraction and drag on his campaign message. In the Huffington Post today, Sensible Regulations Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln writes that to reaffirm his commitment to the small business community, the President needs to make practical, definitive reforms to restore balance to the rulemaking process. Former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln writes:
When you ask small business owners from Nevada to Pennsylvania what the greatest obstacle in the way of their success is, they echo what numerous studies have indicated for months: government regulations. They’ll point to specific rules like the lead renovation, repair and painting rule, which impose costly and redundant training and certification costs on painters, plumbers and remodeling contractors. Or they might discuss new threats that are in the works, such as an EPA rule under White House review that could set new limits for commercial boiler emissions, which are already so closely regulated they can barely be measured.
But overwhelmingly, small businesses point out the paralysis and uncertainty they feel because of the nearly 4,200 pending regulations backed up in the pipeline. Over the last five years the number of rules costing $100 million or more has increased by 60 percent. In 2010 alone, the number of major rules introduced increased by over 20 percent from the previous year. These figures are a clear indicator of how out of balance the system has become, and it’s having real consequences for the business community. Earlier this year, a Gallup poll found 85 percent of small businesses aren’t hiring. Nearly half said government regulations were a reason why.
To read more of Senator Lincoln’s opinion editorial in the Huffington Post, click here.