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Friday, July 11, 2008

EPA Moves to Control the Economy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” (ANPR) on July 11, which basically outlines their general framework for how the agency proposes to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Essentially, the EPA’s approach would regulate almost anything that moves and produces. Even some homes could fall under permitting requirements for energy use. This is not a joke.

So if your home and lawn mowing habits (Yes, “grass mileage standards”…I am not kidding) are highly regulated from Washington, what about small businesses?

Yes, you guessed it. New rules, costs, permits, modifications, technology requirements, paperwork, etc., etc. (and there will be fines of course!). The regulatory concepts outlined in the EPA’s approach represent an enormous and unprecedented economic blow to small businesses -- that is, if they were enacted. It is clear that rogue bureaucrats at the EPA designed this initiative, and Congress needs to step in.

Recently, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly rejected a costly and complex scheme to regulate CO2. The EPA’s approach to regulating greenhouse gas emissions is much, much worse.

It appears Congress has fine-tuned its investigatory skills over the past year and a half (with the private sector being its main target), so perhaps they can spend some time conducting oversight of the federal government agencies right under their noses. Congress needs to learn how this massive and complex regulatory scheme will work, and how the EPA developed its approaches and models for moving forward with this specific ANPR.

Small businesses and the public can make their voices heard on this debate as well. You will have 120 days to comment on the ANPR. You have not heard the end of this issue – more to come!

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