While some regulation is good and obviously necessary for the economic and social health of our country, too much regulation often has a cost associated with it. More likely than not, that cost ends up creating a dangerous debt on society.
Although there are a number of federal agencies that may occasionally publish a new rule or regulation to address some facet affecting our lives, there is one agency in particular that has served as the lone outlier as of late when it comes to breaking this standard of uniformity: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Since 2009, the start of President Obama’s first term in office, the EPA has proposed and promulgated an absurd number of regulations, and at a dizzying pace. States and industry are not even being given the time allotted under previously-issued EPA rules with which to comply before being hit with an onslaught of new crippling regulations, requirements, and attainment levels. The EPA has promulgated close to 30 rules in a six year time span that were major or controversial, with 10 of those rules pertaining to climate change, ambient air quality, and electric generating units.
The number of layoffs, bankruptcy filings of major coal companies, idled mines and coal-fired generation plants, coupled with the litany of congressional legislative proposals, letters to EPA, and state-initiated lawsuits are all clear evidence of the huge economic damage the EPA is single-handedly placing on the industry. This also illustrates the clear dissatisfaction among the growing number of people and families suffering as a result of the EPA’s actions. There is a vocal faction of Congressional officials doing what they can to keep the issue in the forefront – the most recent being the introduction of the Congressional Review Act resolutions earlier this month, which are designed to block the Clean Power Plan rule. Though the outcome of these resolutions is not likely to be successful, the point behind them is in the message to the EPA and President on behalf of the American people.
The challenges to excessive regulation and government overreach are giving a voice to those working class families whose voices are not often heard, and who will be bearing the full brunt of the EPA’s actions. These extreme power moves by the government will have an adverse ripple effect across society that will be felt for generations to come. That is the message to be conveyed. Any potential gain in the fight against the EPA will have to come from litigation. The courts will be the place where these families can only hope to have their voices finally heard in this effort to save the country and society from further damage.