Election 2012

Congress must be ready to stop Obama’s second term regulatory barrage

Congress must be ready to stop Obama's second term regulatory barrage

With President Obama winning a second term, the administration is back on track to unleash its job-killing regulatory barrage. Many of the most costly and burdensome regulations were already underway – especially at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But over the course of the campaign, the American public likely didn’t hear too much about them. The Obama campaign understood just how unpopular this regulatory agenda would be with the American people, so the administration went to great lengths to keep it under wraps, even going so far as to violate the law.

The Obama campaign knew early on in the race that President Obama’s first term green energy agenda had failed and was unpopular with the millions of Americans out of work. As a result, the campaign slowly and quietly shifted the President’s rhetoric to talk of a new found love of oil, gas and coal. In addition, the Obama administration began punting on a series of EPA regulations that they knew would strangle economic growth and put more Americans out of work. In order to hide this agenda, the administration even refused to publish their regulatory plans, as is required under the law. National Journal noted that this is “the longest lag between outlooks since the deadline schedule was created in 1994.”

What exactly does this administration have in store in a second term? President Obama’s former global warming czar and key campaign advocate promised the far left that after the election President Obama has a big green ‘to-do’ list for 2013 so they’ll get what they want. As Politico reported, “I can tell you, having spent two years in the White House with the president, that this is not a fad. The president believes deeply in these issues. At every turn he has looked at what are the tools available to him to really help build a clean energy future for this country and has been committed throughout his first four years in office, and there’s no doubt in my mind this will be a big part of his to-do list and he will remain committed in the next four years.” In other words the message to the far left was clear: stay quiet until after the election, and then President Obama will have the flexibility to move his true agenda.

In the weeks before Election Day, I released a Senate oversight report putting the spotlight on many of these items on the to-do list. I noted the Obama-EPA plan to move full force behind implementing a global warming agenda that Congress has already rejected. Similarly the Obama-EPA has plans to regulate every body of water in the United States, and new ozone regulations will put hundreds of counties in nonattainment, essentially placing a construction ban throughout hard hit regions of the country.

I am particularly concerned about the administration’s efforts squash natural gas production. Today the Obama administration – through no less than fourteen federal agencies, including the EPA, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – is working to find ways to regulate hydraulic fracturing at the federal level, so that they can limit and eventually stop the practice altogether.

This regulatory onslaught will hammer hard working American families. Thanks to a recent report from National Economic Research Associates (NERA), we have more insight into just how devastating these regulations will be for American families. According to NERA, they will destroy up to 887,000 jobs per year, hitting coal regions the hardest. In fact, peak year losses in family income in coal country would range up to $1,600 per household.

President Obama’s far left agenda must be stopped, and it’s going to be up to Congress to apply the brakes to a runaway bureaucracy. The good news is that over the past two years we have seen the Republican controlled House of Representatives work overtime to put the spotlight on this administration’s far left agenda and move forward with pro-American energy legislation. I know my Republican Senate colleagues, too, will continue to stand with the House in this effort.

The bottom line is that American people voted in favor of a pro-American energy agenda, not the regulatory agenda that this administration kept under wraps for the past year. We will do everything we can to ensure we put the brakes on this radical agenda and move forward with pro-growth, pro jobs energy agenda.

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