Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Reining in Regulators

knoem kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Reining in Regulators
By Rep. Kristi Noem
July 31, 2015

$1.88 trillion – that’s how much federal regulations cost hardworking Americans overall in 2014 alone. $14,976 – that’s how much, on average, those regulations cost each of us individually.  500 – that’s approximately how many new regulations costing more than $100 million annually have gone into effect since President Obama took office.  No matter how you add the numbers up, it is too much.  This administration and the federal bureaucracy it controls must be reined in.  Period.

On July 29, the House of Representatives passed legislation that aims to provide more congressional oversight over the federal regulatory process.  More specifically, the REINS Act, which is legislation I cosponsored, would require Congress to approve any regulation that costs the economy more than $100 million annually.  That may seem like a high bar, but approximately 80 regulations would have tripped that threshold last year alone.

A number of these regulations are derived by the EPA.  For instance, last June, the EPA released new greenhouse gas emission standards that apply to new as well as existing power plants.  According to an October 2014 study by NERA Economic Consulting, the EPA’s proposal could cost consumers and businesses as much as $41 billion per year.  Additionally, the Heritage Foundation estimates that by 2030, the costs could rise to a total income loss of more than $7,000 per person.

We all want to preserve our environment for future generations, but in a state like South Dakota, the costs associated with a regulation like this could prove devastating.  Families in South Dakota that earn less than $50,000 per year already spend one-fifth of their after-tax income on energy costs, which is double the national average.  Many can’t afford to pay even more.

Of course, the EPA’s upcharges don’t end there.  I’ve heard from many South Dakotans about their concerns with a new “Waters of the U.S.” definition that the EPA released.  It grossly expands the agency’s reach, giving them regulatory authority over many streams, ditches, sloughs, and even areas that are only wet seasonally.  The expanded authority would empower them to fine property owners tens of thousands of dollars per violation – per day.

The EPA is eager to utilize this authority too.  Last year – before the expansion was finalized – the agency threatened to go after a Wyoming farmer for digging a stock dam on his own property.  He explains they threatened a $75,000-a-day fine.  After heavy pressure from Wyoming’s congressional delegation, the EPA backed down.  Even so, no farmer, rancher, or citizen should have to endure those unnecessary headaches at the hand of an overzealous federal agency.  I share concerns that this story won’t be the last.

Federal regulators shouldn’t be able to operate in a bubble.  It’s time they are forced to think twice before finalizing ill-considered, needlessly costly and simply unnecessary regulations.  That is what the REINS Act intends to do.  I’m hopeful we can see this necessary legislation move forward in the Senate and make its way to the President’s desk.  You deserve greater accountability.


11 thoughts on “Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Reining in Regulators”

  1. Representative:
    If your capital “C” Conservative party weren’t so GREEDY these reg’s might not be so encompassing. But you are and we need to reign YOU in, Rep. Noem! It’s no wonder you don’t like to be told what to do when your agenda is so bad for USA and so focused on making you richer at any cost to the voters. Liberals know you’d replace our job with a machine if you could. You’d send our job to China and make us train our replacement before you fired us, if you could. You’d cut corners drastically on safety to make a few extra bucks if you could. You’d cruelly deny health insurance and pensions to raise the bottom line if you could. You’d avoid paying taxes by hiding your money in offshore banks if you could. Conservatives would poison the entire world to the point of altering the climate if you could … and we know you’ve already done these things. That’s why you don’t want to be told what to do and that’s why USA can’t trust you as far as we can throw your hat.

  2. Shifting from liberal conjecture over on Senator Rounds piece to liberal subjective hyperbole here shows some mental instability Porter. EPA Rule Reviews coming soon to Congress we can only hope.

    Ever wonder which U.S. geographic areas are on the Nuclear First Strike list of Russia and Iran?

    1. Mr. Hoffman ….. Your hope and wonder amaze those of us without chronic paranoia.

      1. Porter you rally the cry of the National Democratic Frat House Party!!
        Invite everyone to the party and expect someone else to pay for it.
        Never worry about the “End Game” ; we are in POWER now RULE dammit.

        Someday the “GROWN UPS” get back in the saddle and reality sets in again.

  3. Regulation right.How about getting rid of farm subsidies, how much would that save how about crop insurance another subsidy. Your as bad as photo op.

  4. The DOT was going to stop farmers from using tractors, at least get them to the field without driving on the roads. It almost seems as this adminstration is against farming.

  5. Reign in regulators. Oh Kristi what a novel idea. You’re super smart. And I am so glad you used the correct spelling and definition of the word reign.

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