In October, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe warned that the re-election of President Barack Obama would lead to more regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that the administration was holding back on during the campaign. Turns out the EPA isn't alone.
The administration “has quietly reopened the regulations pipeline” since the election, The Associated Press reported Thursday. Among the new regs: proposed EPA rules to update water quality guidelines for beaches and other recreational waters, and a proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require that “black boxes” be installed in new cars and light trucks. New rules tied to Obamacare are also going into effect.
Inhofe, R-Tulsa, senior Republican on the Senate Environment Committee, issued a 14-page report last week that says Americans need to hang on tight. Among other things, he expects Obama's second term to include new rules cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions and on the oil and natural gas industries.
“Under an Obama EPA that has earned a reputation for abuse, American families will be subjected to a regulatory onslaught that will drive up energy prices, destroy millions of jobs and further weaken the economy,” Inhofe says in his report.
Inhofe's October forecast was of course pooh-poohed by environmentalists and dismissed as more of the same from a longtime critic of this administration. No doubt his latest warnings will be, too, because those groups see more regulations as a good thing. “We've been disappointed that Obama has been a tepid regulator” to date, an official with OMB Watch told AP.
Not encouraging is the assessment of the former head of the George W. Bush administration regulatory office, who told AP that partly because many federal rules that were started have been on hold, she expects Obama's second term to be more like his first two years in office. During that time, he averaged 63 economically significant rules per year, which she dubbed “record setting.” Yikes!