Regulations aplenty

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Russ Jones,Chris Woodward (

2012 has been an average year for regulations, but it may end up with far more than usual.

Young, Ryan (CEI)Ryan Young, fellow in regulatory studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), reports that as of December 3, 2012, 3,392 final rules have been published in the Federal Register.

"That's roughly on par with an average year, although … in the last few weeks we've seen a little bit of a midnight rush post-election while Congress is in its lame-duck session," Young notes. "There are about 70 to 80 rules published in an average week. Last week, there were 94, and this week, as of Tuesday, we're already up to 33."

So he suggests the country could end up with as many as 3,800 final regulations this year.

"It really does affect everything, but it affects the energy industry -- power plants that are powered by coal -- most severely," the CEI regulatory studies fellow explains. "In the next few months, EPA is going to pass regulations that will essentially make it impossible to open a new coal-fired power plant. It's good if you're a natural gas company, but it's very bad if you're a coal company."

Meanwhile, Young puts the total cost of federal regulation, meaning everything that's on the books, at about $1.8 trillion.

"The trouble is that a lot of times agencies don't report what their regulations cost," he tells OneNewsNow. "They don't have to unless they're classified as being 'significant,' and that's only about ten percent of rules. That number is about $24 billion for 46 rules."

All things considered, Young concludes that some rules are good and some are bad. He is "just giving the numbers."

Impact of regs on food service industry

As for ObamaCare, it has been discovered that it includes regulations that target certain classifications within the food industry. A conservative commentator says they will cost business owners billions to implement.

Restaurant and grocery store operators are about to get hit hard due to President Barack Obama's 2,700-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Section 4205 forces labeling regulations on operators, which the FDA has taken and expanded even further.

Ridenour, Amy (National Center for Public Policy Research)Amy Ridenour, chairman of The National Center Public Policy Research, points out that pizza makers will especially be impacted, as they will be forced to detail calorie and nutritional information about every product.

"They actually want a list of every possible combination a person could order and the ingredients listed for that," Ridenour explains. "And Domino's alone says that there are 34 million potential combinations of their pizzas -- that would be a sign that's 34 million items long. It's just not doable."

While Ridenour understands the motivation is to provide nutritional information, she warns that the regulations are bad for business owners and consumers.

"You're going to be in a situation where a business says well, if I change my recipe, it's going to cost me a fortune in signage, so they won't," the commentator poses. "So consumers will have fewer choices. Nobody's better off, but that's not what the regulators realize. They're just thinking [with] tunnel vision."

The White House Office of Management and Budget estimates that the paperwork burden on supermarkets and grocery stores will require nearly 15 million man-hours and $69.8 million for recordkeeping alone to comply with the new FDA labeling rules.

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