From National Review:
June 30, 2011
Over at the Dallas Morning News, Dave Michaels reports that the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), has blocked Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) from a hearing on new EPA air regulations:
Cornyn is not a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Republicans claim Boxer has allowed fellow Democrats who aren’t members of the committee to participate at such hearings in the past when they affected a senator’s state. A Democratic committee aide says those hearings addressed purely regional issues, whereas tomorrow’s deals with a new regulation that will affect 31 states. [Emphasis added]
That pending EPA regulation would further restrict coal-fired power plants’ emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The EPA didn’t include Texas in this rule when it was proposed in Aug. 2010. However, the agency later announced that Texas’ plan for controlling downwind pollution from its coal-fired power plans was inadequate.
After that finding, the EPA indicated that it could include Texas in the new regulation, known as the Clean Air Transport Rule, according to a recent letter from 24 Texas Republicans to the White House. The requirements could force Texas utilities to temporarily shut down coal-fired generating plants, according to Republican lawmakers.
The chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s hearing. Republicans say Cornyn wants to ask questions of Bryan Shaw and the EPA witness, Asst. Administrator Gina McCarthy. But Cornyn has been told he’ll only be able to introduce Shaw and submit a written statement.
“Senator Cornyn is concerned that the issues addressed in tomorrow’s hearing will have enormous impacts on his state,” wrote Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK., the top Republican on the committee.
Is Obama ruling by fiat through the EPA?
As an ASIDE……
Business Owners Stuck in Limbo Waiting for Regulations to Be Issued
Published June 30, 2011
Each time a federal law is passed, detailed regulations that outline how that law will be implemented are issued by the relevant agencies, but that often takes a great deal of time.
Potentially massive sets of regulations are now pending for both President Obama’s health care law and the Dodd-Frank Act – described as the biggest overhaul to the American financial regulatory system in history. And whatever they think of the laws themselves, American business owners remain stuck in regulatory limbo while thousands of pages of new rules are produced.
“The worst part of all is that there’s this gigantic uncertainty that is lingering,” said economist Veronique de Rugy of the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
De Rugy points back to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a more modest financial regulation overhaul that was enacted in 2002 in the wake of the Enron and Tyco corporate accounting scandals. She notes that it took two years for regulations to be issued after the law was passed. She says experts estimate it will take “at least five times longer” to get the Dodd-Frank regulations written.
“If half of them miss their deadlines, we could be talking about much longer,” warned de Rugy.
Although most business owners will say that they dislike government regulation in general, businesses can adapt and thrive in new regulatory environments, but only if they have time to prepare. It’s the waiting that leaves them hesitant to invest or hire.
“They don’t know what the cost of the health care is going to be, just that they’re going to be mandated to provide something,” Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, told Fox News. “They have no idea what it’s going to cost.”
Until the regulations are ultimately rolled out on the health care and financial regulation laws, de Rugy predicts that many investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners won’t be able to make decisions about “their borrowing, their hiring, anything you need to do business.”