Concerns Mount over 4,100 Regulations Pending in Washington That Could Cost More than Half a Trillion Dollars
WASHINGTON (July 18, 2012) – The next four years could bring a tidal wave of costly federal regulations impacting U.S. businesses and consumers, according to new analysis by the National Federation of Independent Business’ coalition, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations. There are currently 4,128 federal regulations in the pipeline which, if implemented, will impose costs of more than $515 billion on the U.S. economy.
“With small business confidence at an all-time low, this tidal wave of impending federal regulations is coming at the worst time imaginable, creating more uncertainty for small business owners and further stalling their economic recovery,” said Susan Eckerly, Vice President of Public Policy for the NFIB.
Over the past four years, regulations have cost American businesses and taxpayers more than $138 billion, according to NFIB’s analysis of the Office of Management and Budget’s semi-annual regulatory agenda and a recent report by the Heritage Foundation. NFIB estimates that regulations under consideration in Washington could cost more than a half trillion dollars when implemented, quadrupling the cost of regulations finalized during the previous four years.
NFIB is launching a nine-state education campaign focused on elevating the stories of its small business members in the media and through local events to educate the public about the impacts these regulations could impose on small business growth. States include: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
“The threat of more burdensome regulations is holding back America’s economy. Small businesses continue to call on government leaders to do a better job of reviewing existing regulations instead of passing the buck – and the cost – of new – often duplicative and overly onerous – regulations to small businesses and their customers, ” said Eckerly.
NFIB’s analysis can be accessed here: http://stopthetidalwave.org
Notable regulations estimated to carry significant costs include new government controls on air quality and emissions from power plants, among other rules. For example, EPA is planning to update National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone in 2013 following President Obama’s decision to delay issuing a new standard in 2011 citing significant costs. When finalized in 2013, this rule is projected to cost the economy between $19 billion and $90 billion annually.
Another example is the Utility MACT regulation, that was finalized in February, but held up in court, and requires both existing and new power plants to install pollution control technology to further restrict emissions. Estimated to cost as much as $90 billion over 10 years, this regulation would be the most expensive in U.S. history if implemented, a cost that would be passed on to consumers, including small businesses, through higher energy costs. To review a list of the pending regulations and their estimated costs, visit: http://www.sensibleregulations.org/resources/515-billion-dollar-tidal-wave/.
Poll after poll demonstrates that regulatory burdens are a top reason why small businesses are not hiring at pace with previous years. In fact, a Gallup poll earlier this year found 85 percent of small businesses surveyed weren’t hiring, and about half cited government regulations as the reason.
Last year, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations along with the National Federation of Independent Businesses sent an open letter to President Obama proposing five commonsense principles to help reform the regulatory system. They include: giving small businesses a greater voice in the federal regulatory process; providing assistance to small businesses before assessing penalties; requiring major federal rules to undergo rigorous cost-benefit analysis; basing regulatory decisions only on objective, validated science; and requiring more transparency and accountability in the regulatory process.
ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES FOR SENSIBLE REGULATIONS
A project of the National Federation of Independent Business, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations is a national effort representing the interests of 350,000 small businesses focused on protecting small businesses and American jobs from the impacts of the increasing number and burdensome nature of federal regulations proposed by the Obama administration
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan small business association representing small and independent businesses in all 50 state capitals. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.