Feds Push $5.3 Billion In Regulatory Costs With Just 3 New Regulations

The Obama administration were busy last week pushing regulations that will cost the American businesses and consumers more than $5.3 billion and 7.7 million hours in paperwork burdens, according to a report.

A report by the right-leaning American Action Forum found that last week “regulators managed to add another $5.3 billion in burdens” and “imposed 7.7 million paperwork burden hours.” While last week’s regulatory burden was lower than the preceding week’s $14 billion price tag, it shows how the cost of new rules are quickly adding up.

“Since January 1, the federal government has published $156 billion in compliance costs ($67.77 billion in final rules) and has imposed 70.5 million in net paperwork burden hours (22.68 million from final rules),” wrote Sam Batkins, AAF’s director of regulatory policy.

What’s shocking is that last week’s regulatory price tag comes almost exclusively from from three regulations: one from the EPA and two from the FDA.

The EPA proposed a new methane rule for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking operations which is estimated to cost $420 million and add 92,000 paperwork hours. AFF notes the methane proposal is part of a larger $2.6 billion plan to regulate methane from oil and natural gas wells, despite the fact that methane emissions have fallen dramatically while drilling has increased.

The FDA finalized two safety regulations for animal and human foods last week which are projected to cost $4.7 billion and impose 7.4 million paperwork hours. Interestingly, the FDA’s new rule on human food safety needs a reduction of 157,000 food borne illnesses in order for it to be economically justified, notes AFF. Both of these rules are expected to hit small businesses especially hard.

AFF also highlights a relatively small rule proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the Dodd-FRank Act which has vastly increased federal power over financial markets. The new rule would cost $100 million and impose 36,000 paperwork hours.

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