Allen B. West

Here’s EXACTLY why Obama’s new oil and gas regulations are an absolute JOKE

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Remember when Obama administration regulation czar Cass Sunstein testified that increased regulations were good for the economy and job growth? He said when you increase regulations you have to hire folks to ensure those being targeted are in compliance with the regulations. What a joke, right?

But the amount of executive actions taken by fiat and the immense growth of the bureaucratic regulatory administrative state are no laughing matter. When the executive branch of our federal government seeks to bypass the legislative process by executive order we do not have representative governance, we have rule. The growth of the federal registry where regulations are listed has expanded by an incredible amount in these past six-and-a-half years. And the increase of regulations comes with a financial responsibility — a direct cost — to the private sector and individuals which many never know. When I was in Congress serving on the Small Business Committee, the recurring complaint was the amount of regulations stymying small business growth because of the time and resources necessary to understand and comply.

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Therefore, we are moving away from a governing philosophy where legislation is debated to one where the executive branch prefers to implement its ideological agenda by order. That is a constitutional monarchy, not a republic. And so we have the latest incursion of the federal government, the Obama administration, to use coercion, intimidation, and regulation to further its agenda.

As reported by Fox News, “The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled plans Tuesday to slash methane emissions from oil and gas production almost in half, the latest in a series of administration regulations aimed at curbing global warming. The proposal, though, looked set to face stiff opposition from energy groups and Republicans lawmakers, who accused the administration of pandering to “the fantasies of the environmental Left.

”The target to cut methane by 40 to 45 percent by 2025 (compared against 2012 levels) was accompanied by proposed regulations cutting emissions from new natural gas wells, along with standards for drilling to reduce leakage on public lands. The regulations would require energy producers to find and repair leaks at oil and gas wells and capture gas that escapes from wells that use fracking. The administration said the rules would apply only to emissions from new or modified natural gas wells, meaning thousands of existing wells would not have to comply.” (And please don’t give me the sad, pitiful story about clean air and water. Hydraulic fracturing has proven to be a safe process).

Once again, the Obama EPA seeks to curtail fossil fuel exploration, which has been beneficial to our economy — but lately has come from state and private lands. The Obama agenda seeks to further restrain the oil and gas energy sector. They’re already bankrupting the coal industry, as a stated objective (which Hillary Clinton intends to carry out as we reported here). This new regulation is in addition to usurping more lands, designating more animals as endangered, and instituting fracking bans.

I always chuckle when I hear President Obama taking claim for the success of oil and natural gas production in America, realizing the gains are being made in spite of his efforts.

So what is my solution to the growing regulatory administration state? It’s simple: may them pay. There is no doubt that these new regulations come with a cost on the targeted sector or business. Congress should use the Congressional Budget Office to ascertain the estimated cost for any regulation imposed by the executive branch without Congressional approval. Congress should then take those numbers and subtract the amount from the budget of the government agency instituting the regulation.

Why? Regulations are hidden increases in taxation, and only the Congress — by enumerated powers in the Constitution — has taxing authority. The House of Representatives also has the power of the purse. We can no longer allow for the implementation of an ideological agenda by way of coercive regulation that has a financial cost. This is punishment based on the progressive socialist design.

Are there regulations that should be implemented? Absolutely, and they should go through the legislative process. I’m all for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act which created a separation between commercial and investment banking — no cost there, but an effective regulation. However, when someone in the executive branch wakes up and decides we are going to force this upon business owners — and offer a comment period, which will never be considered anyway – it is unacceptable.

And to think, here is the Environmental Protection Agency which just caused a massive toxic waste and mineral leak into a river — and they’re implementing new regulations? Nope, this is nonsensical and Congress must reassert its powers.

“Today, through our cost-effective proposed standards, we are underscoring our commitment to reducing the pollution fueling climate change and protecting public health while supporting responsible energy development, transparency and accountability,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement. EPA officials estimated the regulations would cost industry between $320 million and $420 million in 2025, with reduced health care costs and other benefits totaling about $460 million to $550 million.”

I have an idea for reduced health care costs. How ‘bout repealing the 20 some-odd new taxes that are part of Obamacare — which will now cost American taxpayers nearly $1.3 trillion. Naturally the energy industry will have to assume the costs of this regulation. But it is pure subjective conjecture to believe there will be $460 million to $550 million in health care cost reductions. That’s the usual Obama administration “fuzzy math” that goes right along with the “saved jobs” calculations. Oh – and you can keep your doctor too.

It’s time for Congress to stand up for the American people and stop the train wreck that the Obama administration regulatory state has become. And we have to ensure whoever gets into the White House next derails it as well. That may be the toughest task of all…

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