The Rising Cost of Regulations Since the First Earth
In fiscal year 2000, some 54 federal departments and agencies
and over 130,000 federal employees spent over $18.7 billion writing
and enforcing federal regulations. Total regulatory costs for
the year 2000 are estimated at $808.6 billion, of which $267
billion represents the cost of environmental regulations. Source:
Melinda Warren and Murray Weidenbaum, "The Rise of Regulation
Continues: An Analysis of the Budget for the Year 2000,"
Center for the Study of American Business Regulatory Budget Report,
No. 22, August 1999. T.D. Hopkins, "Regulatory Costs in
Profile," Center for the Study of American Business.
The regulatory costs of building a house in three major metropolitan
areas - Cincinnati, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Santa
Fe, New Mexico - tripled between 1974 and 1994 due largely to
environmentally-related regulations, such as sewer and water
fees, storm water runoff controls, and soil sedimentation and
erosion controls. Source: National Association of Home Builders,
"The Truth About Regulations and the Cost of Housing,"
Since its enactment in 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
has been mired in controversy and is eight years overdue for
reauthorization. The goal of the ESA is to list imperiled species,
assist them in recovering, and then remove them from the list
once they are considered safe. Of some 1,400 species listed,
however, a mere 27 have been officially delisted. Analysis by
the Competitive Enterprise Institute reveals that the ESA has
not actually saved a single species. Source: R.J. Smith, "The
Endangered Species Act: Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up, Big Government
and Bad Science: Ten Case Studies in Regulatory Abuse,"
Institute for Policy Innovation, November 1999.
Food-borne pathogens cause an estimated 9,000 deaths and
6.5 million to 33 million illnesses in the United States each
year. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture resists the irradiation
of food in the fight against such illnesses, even though the
process is considered safe and effective and is endorsed by all
major public health organizations. Source: Randall Lutter, "An
Analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Proposal to
Allow Irradiation of Meat," AEI-Brookings Joint Center for
Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Analysis 99-2, July 1999.
Though peer-reviewed scientific reports find no association
between exposure to PCBs and death from cancer or any other diseases,
the EPA is proposing to make parts of the Hudson River Valley
into a giant Superfund site. The agency wants General Electric
to spend as much as $100 million to dredge the river until all
traces of PCBs are gone. Tests by New York state biologists
already show that, if left alone, the PCBs will dissipate. Source:
Dr. Bonner Cohen, "PCBs: EPA Occupies the Hudson Valley,
Big Government and Bad Science: Ten Case Studies in Regulatory
Abuse," Institute For Policy Innovation, November 1999.
The EPA's new clean air standards, upheld by the U.S. Supreme
Court in February 2001, will impose economic costs of up to $150
billion per year. Lives will also be lost because higher regulatory
costs result in lost wages and higher prices, making fewer dollars
available for such things as health care and better nutrition.
The Reason Public Policy Institute estimates that up to 27,000
Americans could die due to the more stringent air quality standards.
Source: United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
Circuit, American Trucking Associations v. United States Environmental
Protection Agency, May 14, 1999.
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