PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Time for Greater Transparency and Regulatory Inclusiveness at EPA

By at 4 September, 2014, 4:46 pm

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Senate EPW Committee Investigates Undue Influence at Agency

Washington, D.C. — Karen Kerrigan, President of the Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS), a project of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, issued a statement today regarding the investigation by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works into the lack of transparency and regulatory inclusiveness at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The investigation is focusing specifically on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s reported closed-door influence on EPA’s sweeping proposed carbon mandates for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act.

“If the EPA’s attempt to re-engineer the nation’s electric grid through sweeping carbon mandates has been unduly influenced by a single outside group, this is clearly unacceptable,” Kerrigan said.  “Small business owners are rightly concerned about the undue influence of special interests on the regulatory process and the fact that their voice and concerns are often ignored or dismissed during rulemakings. It is wrong for one group to dominate a rulemaking, and for the EPA to enable such influence over large portions of this particular rulemaking.”

A survey conducted by CRS earlier this year found that 84% of Americans believe that there are too many special interests involved in shaping government regulations.  Large majorities of Americans feel they have “no voice” in the regulatory process, and “out-of-touch” people are developing rules without consideration of their “real-world impact.”

“Agency officials must answer to the American public, who stand to pay a high price for EPA’s regulatory misadventures, and the parochial concerns of one special interest group,” said Kerrigan. “Cut-and-paste regulation reflecting the wish list of one group is an unacceptable way to craft regulations, and the EPA needs to be held accountable”

“I hope the Senate investigation gets to the bottom of how the agency developed this rulemaking, because it’s becoming more clear that the thousands of small businesses across the country who will pay higher electricity prices for no meaningful environmental benefits had no voice in the process.  If they did, the agency would not have constructed a proposal that flouts the law, Congress, and real concerns about jobs, investment, innovation, and economic growth.”

 

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For more than 20 years, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) – a nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization – has worked to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.  The Center for Regulatory Solutions is a project of SBE Council.   

 

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