Regulatory Rescissions Could Save 46,500 Jobs
Congress possesses the little-known power to rescind final regulations. Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress can pass legislation to eliminate a rule and prevent the promulgating agency from issuing the regulation “in substantially the same form.”
In the current session, the House and Senate have introduced 19 CRA measures to repeal eleven regulations. Embarrassed by negative publicity, the administration has already rescinded one rule, the so-called “Christmas Tree Tax.”
Based on data from the American Action Forum’s Regulation Database, successfully enacting all pending CRAs would save more than $17.5 billion in costs, 5.3 million paperwork burden hours and 46,500 jobs.
The Senate is considering a rule on Utility MACT today. EPA pegs costs at approximately $10 billion, but just a handful of energy companies have reported more than $32 billion in capital expenditures, more than three times what the EPA estimated.
The coal-reliant Midwest is already starting to feel the impact of this rule. According to industry announcements, Utility MACT will directly affect more than 9,110 plant employees, close dozens of power plants, and force more than 36,000 megawatts of generation capacity offline. This is enough capacity to power the state of Georgia.
The only catch is that successful passage of a CRA measure requires the President’s signature. Although he is unlikely to repeal a regulation issued by his own administration, the President once claimed that our regulatory system should promote “economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.” With 9,000 employees likely out of a job and plant closures in more than 20 states, it is unlikely that Utility MACT satisfies the President’s objectives.
The data presented is clear; repealing even a few of these rules could promote economic growth and job creation in a stagnant economy where unemployment remains 8.2%.
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