The Obama administration hasn’t released a regulatory agenda since last year, though it is required by law to do so every April and October. That doesn’t mean more regulations aren’t coming, just they’ve been held up for the time being. That puts businesses that might be affected by new regulations—which is a lot of businesses—in a bind: They can’t make plans for the future if they don’t know what their costs are going to be.
Some details of the problem, from Diane Katz:
The EPA is the single largest source of the regulations currently pending at [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs], with a total of 29. Of those, 27 are designated as “economically significant,” meaning that costs will exceed $100 million or more annually. Runner-up is Health and Human Services (16), followed by the Department of Labor (11) and the Departments of Energy and Transportation (10).
Among the most costly:
• A Department of Transportation (DOT) rule to require a rear-view camera and video display for all new cars and trucks at an estimated cost of up to $2.7 billion. The regulation was submitted to OIRA on November 16, 2011.
• A DOT proposal to require “a means of alerting” blind and other pedestrians of approaching hybrid and electric vehicles. The agency has not developed a cost estimate but has concluded that “only beneficial outcomes will occur.” The proposal was submitted to OIRA on May 10, 2012.
• Final revisions to the so-called Boiler MACT rules that impose stricter limits on industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators. The cost of the original rules was pegged at $9.5 billion by the EPA and $20 billion by the economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight (for the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners). The stringency and cost of the original rules provoked an outpouring of protest and some 5,800 comments citing technical and statutory errors. Ultimately, EPA officials were forced to undertake revisions, which were submitted to OIRA on May 17. [The Heritage Foundation, October 31]
And there’s a bunch more in the queue.