Statement for the Record on “EPA Regulatory Overreach” – House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

By at 4 June, 2015, 11:12 am

Statement for the record by:

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


“EPA Regulatory Overreach: Impacts on American Competitiveness”


House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

United States House of Representatives

June 4, 2015


The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) commends House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and the committee’s members for convening today’s hearing on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overreach and its impacts on American competitiveness.  SBE Council, and through its project, the Center for Regulatory Solutions, is a strong advocate for transforming the regulatory process to ensure greater accountability, transparency, and scientific integrity.  Regulatory reform is essential to spurring stronger economic growth, new business creation, quality job creation, innovation, robust investment and enabling small businesses to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

Since the Obama Administration assumed office, the federal regulatory burden has increased dramatically.  According to the latest survey by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, “federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices.” In many cases, these rulemakings have produced all costs and no meaningful benefits for small businesses.  In a survey conducted by the Center for Regulatory Solutions last year, nearly two-thirds of respondents said regulations “mostly hurt” America’s competitiveness in the world.

The costs of increased regulation have been devastating, taking the form of mountains of red tape, confusing and irrational compliance mandates, and excessive litigation—all of which have slowed the pace of innovation, small business expansion, and new business creation.  Without question, these costs have fallen disproportionately on small businesses.  According to SBE Council Chief Economist Ray Keating, basic indicators of entrepreneurship — namely, unincorporated and incorporated self-employed — have performed poorly since the 2006-2008 period.  In fact, performance over the last year has arguably been the worst since the early 1970s.  The bottom line is that new business creation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. has fallen significantly, which is one key reason why the economic recovery has been so weak, and will impact economic conditions for years to come.

With several major billion-dollar rulemakings on the horizon, the situation only stands to worsen.

SBE Council’s members applaud you and the committee for highlighting three of the most egregious examples of EPA overreach: the Clean Power Plan to regulate carbon dioxide from existing coal-fired power plants; a tighter national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone; and the “Waters of the US” rule governing federal jurisdiction over water bodies.  With these rulemakings, small business owners will incur higher electricity bills and suffer costly delays in obtaining necessary federal permits for their operations.  This is a recipe for continued sluggish job creation, faltering entrepreneurship, and investment in small business expansion.

SBE Council stands ready to work with the committee on highlighting the negative impacts of these rules. More importantly, we look forward to working with you and committee members on common-sense solutions to the regulatory challenges small businesses face every day.  This will ensure America’s regulatory system can both protect human health and the environment and at the same time enable small businesses to compete, innovate and invest in the future with confidence.

Submitted by:

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO


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