Green is the ‘Church’ and the Federal Register is the ‘Bible’ of Waste, Fraud and Abuse

December 22, 2013

“Green” is swiftly becoming the enemy within. When the Federal Register began  recording regulations in 1935, one volume recorded them all, A-L-L. Today, you would have to employ a forklift and several employees to move them about your office.

Under the radical leftist hand of the Obama administration, through September  2012 regulatory agencies added 11,327 pages. 5,359 of those pages were added his first year in office. ObamaCare, alone, added between 11,000 and 30,000 pages, depending on whose estimate you select.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell points to a stack of papers representing what he claimed to be the regulations associated with President Obama's health-care law as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 15. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell points to a stack of papers representing what he claimed to be the regulations associated with President Obama’s health-care law as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 15. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Un-elected bureaucrats now annually publish THOUSANDS of new rules, faster than any human can either read or absorb them. The intended effect of those rules is to make life better for all Americans, but they are creating a quagmire of onerous regulations that choke the life out of doing business in the United States of America.

When my company acquires a federal government contract, the contract itself is but one page. Behind that one page are hundreds of pages forming a formidable stack, each page representing specific federal regulations limiting or mandating actions by my company for the project at hand.

Let’s consider one story from on hydroelectric power.

“Small-scale hydropower can generate clean, low-cost electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but onerous federal regulations are discouraging development of this renewable energy.

Small-scale hydropower usually does not require dams, and most commonly is produced when water from a river is diverted to a pipeline. The water flows through a turbine or waterwheel, powering a generator to produce electricity.

This hydropower could potentially yield enough electricity throughout the United States to power more than 65,000 homes annually.

Hydropower generates electricity more efficiently than any other form of electrical generation, and usually has “limited or even no environmental effects,” according to a report published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Nevertheless, “the federal permitting process is onerous,” the report states, and projects may have to obtain permits from as many as 25 regulatory agencies.

These include compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.

The report points to the example of Logan, Utah. The city planned a small-scale hydropower project that could power 185 homes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-powered plants by about 3.7 million pounds a year.

But due to federal regulations, the project ended up taking four years and costing nearly $3 million. By comparison, energy experts estimate that a similar project in Canada would have cost between $225,000 and $375,000.

In Logan, regulations “drove up costs in terms of time and money, and as a result, Logan is not planning to undertake any similar projects in the future,” the Mercatus report observes. “Other cities have had similar experiences.

“We find that regulation is likely deterring the development of small hydropower potential across the United States.”

In another example cited by the report, Afton, Wyo., had to spend $7.5 million for a small-scale hydropower project, including an estimated $5.6 million on regulatory compliance.

Federal legislation signed into law in August 2013 is intended to streamline the permitting process, but Mercatus notes that “it is still too soon to tell whether this law will have its intended effects.”

Tell Congress to reduce the size of government, restore Tenth Amendment restrictions on federal government, and eliminate federal regulatory agencies, leaving local matters to state government.

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