EPA Hearing — The Industry Strikes Back

In the 8th Regulatory Reform Hearing, The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations discussed “Private-Sector Views of the Regulatory Climate One Year After Executive Order 13563.” Overseeing the committee, Mr. Stearns opened expressing concerns that over one half of private industry refuses to hire based on concerns due to healthcare costs and regulation overburden. The adjusted for inflation values include a range of between $8 billion to $16.5 billion for the current administration’s regulatory procedures, whereas the last administration had only $1.3-3.4 billion for the same period. Mr. Stearns expressed deep concern that these companies are sitting on capital as opposed to expressing economic woes, and therefore expressed his need to hold this hearing to allow for a public forum of these views. Mrs. DeGette and Mr. Waxman countered this view, expressing how these are not balanced hearings – as 4 of the six witnesses expressed views from a minority of the private industry population, and how these are outliers in terms of misgivings on regulation. Witnesses for the testimony include Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., Robert A. Luoto, the President of Cross and Crown Inc., Kimber L. Shoop, the Senior Environmental Attorney for the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, Barbara Walz, the Senior Vice President for Policy and Environmental Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., Dr. Mark A. Mitchell, from the Environmental Health Task Force from National Medical Association, and Howard Williams, the VP and General Manager of Construction Specialties, Inc. Private industry representatives attacked the federal implementations on coal ash and MACT rulings as well as questionable public health precautions arising from associated issues. The logging industry, through the surrogacy of Mr. Luoto, expressed the problems of industry crippling new growth and extending ages of working populations from an average of 40.5 to 45.5 in the last decade. Mr. Williams, though, brought perhaps the most resounding suggestion, imploring that responsible regulation is the largest cost for future generations, as important as the national debt is in this generation. Overall, this hearing provided an invaluable, though not balanced insight in to how the industry views Obama’s “war on industry.”


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