A longtime complaint of small business owners – that government regulations are too onerous and hamper their ability to create jobs and profits – is getting an answer of sorts. Back in January, President Obama ordered a government-wide review of regulations affecting businesses. Now, 30 federal agencies and departments have announced specific plans to reduce regulations, the Los Angeles Times reports.
White House officials said they were committed to getting rid of regulations “that are out-of-date, unnecessary, excessively burdensome or in conflict with other rules.” Here are some of the changes proposed under the “21st Century Regulation” initiative:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing a final rule that is estimated to remove more than 1.9 million annual hours of redundant reporting burdens on employers and save more than $40 million in annual costs.
- EPA has proposed eliminating the redundant obligation for many states to require air pollution vapor recovery systems at local gas stations. The regulation is unnecessary because most modern vehicles already have effective air pollution control technologies. The change is expected to lead to annual savings for businesses of about $67 million.
- The State Department and the Commerce Department are taking steps to eliminate unnecessary barriers to exports, which include removing duplicative and unnecessary regulatory requirements. The goal is to increase U.S. exports and create jobs.
While some of the regulatory changes have already been made, or are in the process of being finalized, most of the changes will need to go through formal rule-writing procedures that include gathering public comments. And the comments are already flying fast and furious.
The Administration’s goal is to “[protect] public health and welfare while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.” Sounds like two great goals, right? Whether both goals can be achieved is the question. Already, there’s conflict in the business and political communities over the new proposals.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while supporting the spirit of the White House’s efforts, says the recommendations to remove some regulations didn’t go far enough. The Natural Resources Defense Council, on the other hand, is concerned the changes may go too far and remove protections to public health and safety.
See for yourself—and please make your voice heard. After all, if you complain without taking action, you’re part of the problem. Visit The White House, Regulatory Reform, to read the proposed changes and offer comments and feedback.
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