Post image for Obama Administration Pretends To Cut Regulations

After a five-month review, the Obama Administration announced this week that it had gotten rid of, was going to get rid of, or was considering getting rid of several dozen unnecessary regulations. The total savings could add up to several billions of dollars a year.

As part of the rollout, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was reviewing 31 regulations for elimination.  EPA also announced that it had suspended the new rules regulating milk spills under the Clean Water Act.  That will save dairy farmers an estimated $146 million a year.  Ending another regulation will save gas station owners $67 million a year.

This exercise indicates the level of contempt that President Barack Obama and his Administration have for the American people.  They think that we are so stupid that they can fool us with some piddling trimming while they push full speed ahead with their regulatory onslaught.  As Wayne Crews of CEI shows in Ten Thousand Commandments: an Annual Snapshot of the Regulatory State, the Obama Administration has over 4000 new regulations in the pipeline.  The EPA is trying to raise energy prices for all Americans and destroy jobs by regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  And EPA is also targeting specific industries, such as coal, with job-killing regulations.

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Post image for How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine

My CEI colleague Sam Kazman has a great oped in today’s Wall Street Journal, on how federal regulators are making us dirtier…literally.

Here’s the gist:

In 1996, top-loaders were pretty much the only type of washer around, and they were uniformly high quality. When Consumer Reports tested 18 models, 13 were “excellent” and five were “very good.” By 2007, though, not one was excellent and seven out of 21 were “fair” or “poor.” This month came the death knell: Consumer Reports simply dismissed all conventional top-loaders as “often mediocre or worse.”

How’s that for progress?

The culprit is the federal government’s obsession with energy efficiency. Efficiency standards for washing machines aren’t as well-known as those for light bulbs, which will effectively prohibit 100-watt incandescent bulbs next year. Nor are they the butt of jokes as low-flow toilets are. But in their quiet destruction of a highly affordable, perfectly satisfactory appliance, washer standards demonstrate the harmfulness of the ever-growing body of efficiency mandates.

Read the whole thing here.

The 112th Congress was sworn in on Wednesday, and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was elected Speaker of the House.  Nineteen Democrats voted against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), which is extraordinary when you consider that Pelosi as Minority Leader still controls committee assignments for her party’s members.  The House began Thursday by reading the Constitution (my thoughts on that may be found here), which surprised me by causing a lot of foaming at the mouth on the left.  Later that morning, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Marin County), who remains Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, held a press conference during which she vowed to block any attempt to prohibit or delay the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.

Boxer may be very busy.  The hottest item of the first week of the new Congress was introducing a bill to block EPA.  Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with 45 co-sponsors re-introduced her bill (H. R. 97) to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the list of things that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.  Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a bill to delay EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for two years.  This is similar to the bill that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced last year and announced this week that he would re-introduce in the 112th Congress.  And Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) introduced a bill to prohibit any funding to be spent on implementing or enforcing a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.