US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: EPA’s Faulty Analysis

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By Senator Mike Rounds
October 23, 2015

South Dakotans continue to suffer from overreaching, misguided rules being promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since President Obama took office, the EPA has issued more than 3,300 new final regulations, averaging more than one a day. Last year alone, these rules resulted in an estimated $42 billion in compliance costs, and the public has been forced to foot the bill. These additional costs have led to greater uncertainty for job creators and Ag producers, hindering economic growth across the nation.

We all want clean air and water, but we cannot let American families suffer and our economy falter as a result of EPA’s misguided attempts to overregulate natural resources and landowners’ ability to manage their land. That is why it is so important for the EPA to conduct scientific, factual and comprehensive analysis of the rules they are promulgating before they become final. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that too often, the EPA is using incomplete, inaccurate and faulty data when analyzing the economic impact its rules will have on citizens and businesses.  As a result, the EPA is imposing costly, burdensome regulations on American families and businesses with little environmental benefit.

As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight, I recently held a hearing to address these reports. The goal of the hearing, entitled Oversight of Regulatory Impact Analyses for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regulations, was to analyze the process by which the EPA conducts Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs) on the new regulations it imposes on the American people.

Much has been said about the harmful effects of many of EPA’s new regulations, including President Obama’s ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule and the so-called Clean Power Plan. This hearing examined how the agency writes these rules in the first place. By examining the EPA’s rulemaking process as a whole, we found fundamental flaws in the way the agency arrives at many of its conclusions when writing its rules and regulations.

We learned how the EPA fails to clearly and accurately quantify the costs and benefits of the regulations they are imposing. Even more troubling, the public, American businesses and state and local governments are prevented from understanding the real impact of the regulation and meaningfully participating in the rulemaking process. Instead, these sweeping regulatory decisions at EPA are being made by Washington bureaucrats with no knowledge of how they are affecting people on the ground. Meanwhile, American families pay the cost of these regulations through higher electricity costs, fewer job opportunities and a sluggish economy.

I thank my colleagues who participated in the hearing, as well as the witnesses for their informed analysis. The Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will continue to oversee the rules being promulgated at the EPA. While this hearing was productive, it is clear that more must be done to overhaul the rulemaking process at an agency run amuck.


3 thoughts on “US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: EPA’s Faulty Analysis”

  1. Marion states ‘South Dakotans continue to suffer from overreaching …’ I don’t feel like I am suffering. Why does it seem like SD’S delegation continues to lump all of us together as if we’re all suffering or being hurt by something the got does. It’s old.

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