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Everybody Has a Rule They Hate

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Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa received hundreds of complaints about regulations from some of the nation’s biggest and smallest companies.

The committee most definitely didn’t hear about any benefits of regulations from William Nash, owner of Super Soundproofing in San Marcos, Calif., who like Papen submitted comments in late January through AmericanJobCreators.com.

“I am just aghast at the new ocean wave of regulations,” Nash wrote. “This uncertainty has an impact on my business as I am actually considering downsizing the business to a more manageable size, with less employees and associated risk of regulation violations.”

While Nash doesn’t list specific regulations that are crippling his enterprise, many of the Washington-savvy companies and groups included lengthy attachments complete with charts and graphics.

The American Meat Institute has a major beef with a proposed regulation from a 2008 law governing meat and poultry. Mark Dopp, AMI’s senior vice president and general counsel, wrote that it could cost his industry 100,000 jobs. And if Issa needs proof, the AMI included bar graphs and fact sheets  — complete with pictures of cows — totaling more than 300 pages.

Some went so far as to attach correspondences between industry and the regulatory agencies or internal agency memos. The Composite Panel Association added several pages of an Agriculture Department memo to detail its concerns with a rule related to the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. The particle-board people want Issa’s committee to expand its oversight of the program, which the group says could hurt its industry by limiting supplies of such essential products as sawdust.

The National Automobile Dealers Association included a seven-page report titled “The Regulatory Maze: NADA’s Annual Update on Federal Regulations.”

And most of the groups targeted EPA regulations as a major burden to U.S. business.

Former Rep. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.), who heads the American Chemistry Council, wrote that the “EPA’s economic models and approach to evaluating scientific information are flawed and deserve examination by the committee.” And National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons wrote that his members have grave concerns about the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Manufacturers worry that “states are unprepared for the new permitting requirements, which will cause significant delays,” Timmons added.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America complained about delays in the offshore drilling permit process under the National Environmental Policy Act. “There has been no clarity provided by the Administration on whether there will be any further regulations implemented,” IPAA President Barry Russell added.

For his part, Captain Papen says the regulatory situation is getting “worse and worse and worse every single day.”

When he bought his first boat and started his business, he said, “I figured I’d found the American dream, but apparently not.”

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