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Report finds that EPA & FCC regulations are costing Americans big time

Every major government agency is responsible for setting regulations that often times cause Americans and American businesses to incur unnecessary costs. But two federal agencies stand out about the rest for their regulatory might: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Between the EPA and the FCC, government regulations are costing Americans close to the tune of $495 billion, according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). CEI ranks the EPA as by far the most costly rulemaking agencies at $353 billion. The the Department of Health and Human Services comes in second with $184 billion, and the FCC in third with $142 billion.

The term for these monetary mishaps is “compliance costs.” It refers to the time or money it takes to comply with government regulations. For example, to comply with environmental regulations, businesses often have to spend money and time to ‘go green.’ That often hampers innovation and drives up prices for consumers.

The EPA is historically one of the most active regulatory agencies. According to CEI’s report, “Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which covers environmental protection, has at least 88,852 specific regulatory restrictions.”

The EPA recently passed one of the most expensive regulations in history. The MACT rule, designed to lower emissions from coal fire plants, has an estimated annual cost of $9.6 billion. That’s more than the total compliance costs wrought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The FCC has similar problems.

Lack of a mechanism for effectively evaluating regulations leads to a constantly expanding number of regulations. This means, according to the report, that “the FCC’s total regulatory burden tends to increase from year to year.” Between 2000 and 2012, the cumulative number of FCC rules has grown more than five-fold, from less than 500 to slightly more than 2,500.

There are also “economically significant” regulation issues that impose at least $100 million in economic impact in a given year. “Net neutrality” policies and possible restrictions on “wireless spectrum auctions” are two of the FCC’s most damaging regulations, the report says.

Calculating compliance costs is not easy, though, nor are the numbers accurate down to the dollar. Ryan Young, the report’s author relates a maxim, “All regulatory estimates are wrong.”

In fact, very little research has been done to analyze agencies on this topic. But Young is hopeful his report will get start a discussion with the EPA, FCC, and other analysts. “If all these estimates are wrong,” he says, “then somebody give me the numbers that are right.”

While Washington’s eyes are trained on the coming sequester deadline, Young and his colleagues will continue to look into the cost of government agencies. Next they’ll be digging into the HHS, which is responsible for the implementation of Obamacare – a policy expected to significantly increase heath related compliance costs.

Comments

Comments

  1. Roger Mitchell says:

    The EPA was about the dumbest idea Richard Nixon ever had I really by todays standards see no problem with water gate compared to the level of deceit of what we now have in power But the EPA and the DEA are 2 agencies that need to be put on a little shorter chain. The crap the EPA comes up with is just crazy . Like the little fart last yr said we will be like the Romans we walk in to a village take a few heads and stick them up on poles to get the others attentions that entire agency is corrupt.. and out of control I myself have know DEA agents to sell weed that never made it to impound and they lived a little above their Paychecks also just saying.. But Sequestration is a good idea and should start right here then the IRS HLS and about 50 others need to be chained up.. The FCC is a total waste of money.. the way they started to strong arm ans extor their power into local T.V stations 40 yrs ago to get their points across and PBS is a total waste and would be far better if privatized if there is a market . And Big Bird could help pay for the operating cost out of his billions of profits . Not to mention the 180K a yrs the person in the feathers gets paid a yr..

  2. Sam says:

    Yes and without the EPA industry would go back to destroying our water supply and polluting the air. Want to know what it would be like without the EPA? Google “air pollution in China”

    The only people complaining about the EPA are those who are forced to regulate the pollution out what they produce. The EPA may not be perfect but without it we would all fall victim to corporate voracity for profit.

    Capitalism without regulation promotes greed.

    1. Claudia Joanne Renshaw says:

      I posted this before, but have not seen it, so I am redoing.
      It is just a fact that there are too many people who cannot be trusted. Yahoo’s reasons for ending telecommuting by employees is a prime example of why people must be controlled and have eyes-on supervision. When people are “let loose” they will usually “let loose”. So, that is why we are all held responsible when too many people break the trust. It is why when too many gun owners kill other human beings, all gun owners must be held responsible; thus new laws enacted and enforced. It is why when some corporations become greedy and reckless with others’ resources (money, environment, jobs and welfare), all corporations must be held responsible; thus government regulations to protect the public interests.
      The “sequestration” will potentially cause the quality of our food to be affected (so it is being reported). Why? Because if the FDA budget is cut, inspections will decrease and when the FDA is not looking, food producers will cheat.
      I remember when there was no EPA. The air and water quality in my area was putrid from the manufacturing plants. The number of eagles, some hawks, and many other birds was diminishing because of chemicals that were killing them and causing the egg shells to be too thin to sustain the chicks.
      Profits, freedoms, clean environment, etc., require personal responsibility from EVERYONE. When too many step out of line and threaten the life and freedoms of too many others, then CIVILIZATION requires that EVERYONE must abide by rules and laws.
      …even Popes are not immune.

  3. Claudia Joanne Renshaw says:

    It is just a fact that there are too many people who cannot be trusted. Yahoo’s reasons for ending telecommuting by employees is a prime example of why people must be controlled and have eyes-on supervision. When people are “let loose” they will usually “let loose”. So, that is why we are all held responsible when too many people break the trust. It is why when too many gun owners kill other human beings, all gun owners must be held responsible; thus new laws enacted and enforced. It is why when some corporations become greedy and reckless with others’ resources (money, environment, jobs and welfare), all corporations must be held responsible; thus government regulations to protect the public interests.
    The “sequestration” will potentially cause the quality of our food to be affected (so it is being reported). Why? Because if the FDA budget is cut, inspections will decrease and when the FDA is not looking, food producers will cheat.
    Sam, you are absolutely correct. I remember when there was no EPA. The air and water quality in my area was putrid from the manufacturing plants. The number of eagles, some hawks, and many other birds was diminishing because of chemicals that were killing them and causing the egg shells to be too thin to sustain the chicks.
    Profits, freedoms, clean environment, etc., require personal responsibility from EVERYONE. When too many step out of line and threaten the life and freedoms of too many others, then CIVILIZATION requires that EVERYONE must abide by rules and laws.