Red tape abounds during our red, white and blue Independence Day celebrations, especially the fireworks displays.
Not only do federal regulations govern the import, testing, shipping, sales and displays of firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, fountains, sparklers and all the rest, but bureaucrats consider fireworks to be a dangerous pollutant. The EPA’s new ozone limits threaten to force communities to cancel the holiday extravaganzas.
Already, communities must ask the Environmental Protection Agency to grant an “exceptional event” waiver when smoke from a public fireworks display drifts near an air-quality monitoring station. Without the waiver, the community could be penalized for polluted air. But the in-the-works restrictions on ozone make it worse.
The current rules say only 75 parts per billion of ozone are permitted; that’s being lowered to 65 or 70. Imagine the difficulty of finding and removing a handful of molecules mixed-in with a billion others.
Unsure whether they can get EPA waivers, the promoters may have to drop fireworks shows altogether, lest their town be hit with a loss of highway funds or other punishments for being a “non-attainment” area.
Consumer prices will increase by more than $11,000 just from 36 of the Obama Administration’s regulations, reports the American Action Forum (AAF).
It’s a wallop to the jaw for everyday people. AAF’s research finds this includes higher-priced vehicles, pricier household goods, and more expensive food. “Energy-efficiency” standards are the biggest reason for higher prices.
Of course, politicians and bureaucrats claim they’re saving us money. So ask yourself, Have YOU saved $11,000 thanks to federal regulations?
Typically, agencies speculate that IF buyers keep using the mandated energy-saving products for long enough, they eventually will have a net gain. That’s IF things don’t wear out (or a light bulb doesn’t burn out).
Claiming it wants to help us breathe better, the EPA chokes our economy.
While 40% of the country has not been able to meet the ozone standards issued in 2008, the EPA wants to go farther and faster. The proposal is a limit of 65 parts per billion to replace the current 75 ppb.
The Heritage Foundation’s Daren Bakst and Nicolas Loris write, “Lost jobs and less disposable income are not just economic costs; they can lead to significant health problems, particularly among the poor.”
And about carbon dioxide regulations, they say, “If the EPA is allowed to push through these jobs-crushing regulations, it will, at best, be able to boast a climate benefit of a few hundredths of a degree Celsius abated warming by the turn of the century. Sound like it’s worth it?”
A Wall Street Journal editorial notes that the EPA is reducing the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline below the level required by the 2007 energy bill.
Why? Because it’s impossible to meet the goal without diluting gasoline so badly that it will damage car engines because ethanol is corrosive. Requiring 10% (E-10) is bad enough, but mandating anything higher would “damage the engines and fuel systems of most of the cars and trucks on the road today . . . risking accidents, breakdowns and valve, pump, cylinder and injector replacements rarely covered by consumer warranties.”
But to placate corn farmers, the Agriculture Department pledged $100 million in state grants to help fix vehicles that use higher blends of ethanol. That’s more taxpayer money to fix the damage caused by taxpayer subsidies of ethanol.
The WSJ concludes: “Such is the corruption of corporate welfare, which continues for no reason other than that it already exists.”
It’s only just begun. American households are suffering skyrocketing electricity costs thanks to President Barack Obama’s agenda. Already the average household pays an extra $120 a year.
But the worst is yet to come.
Thanks to EPA regulations that have been announced, the U.S. will lose 9 percent of our ability to generate electricity by the year 2030, even while population grows by 54 million people. That is 116% of the current population trying to get by on 91% of our current power.
Supply-and-demand dictates electric rates will climb higher and higher.
What does Obama suggest we do? Spend thousands of dollars per household to buy more energy-efficient appliances. You’ll pay more upfront but then you’ll use fewer kilowatts. But your utility bills will still climb because the cost per kilowatt-hour will be much higher.
Runaway regulations are hurting everyday people and wrecking family budgets. It’s not big companies that suffer from the $1.88 trillion annual burden of red tape that the government imposes. They pass them along, adding the costs onto their price tags.
Unaffordable health care coverage, unaffordable electric bills, unaffordable rises in food costs, unaffordable college, and unaffordable appliances are parts of the skyrocketing burden of regulations, usually dictated from Washington.
Millions of Americans who no longer pay federal income tax nevertheless have a stake in controlling the size of government, because their family budgets are ruined by higher prices resulting from regulations. All costs of regulations are passed along by businesses to consumers.
The average is $15,000 per household per year, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s new annual report “Ten Thousand Commandments”, with a collective cost of $1.88 trillion. Last year alone, President Obama’s hand-picked bureaucrats created $567 per person of new red tape by creating 75,000 pages of more regulations. That’s a one-year regulatory increase of over $2,000 for a household of four.
Because that overall $1.88 trillion number is too big to swallow, people need the details one bite at a time. Providing those digestible bites is the mission of Americans for Less Regulation. Many items also are posted on ALR’s Facebook site.
HOW does red tape hurt your family budget? Read more for details including:
Electricity prices are probably on their way up across much of the US as coal-fired plants, the dominant source of cheap power, shut down in response to environmental regulations and economic forces.
New and tighter pollution rules and tough competition from cleaner sources such as natural gas, wind and solar will lead to the closings of dozens of coal-burning plants across 20 states over the next three years. And many of those that stay open will need expensive retrofits. Because of these and other factors, the Energy Department predicts retail power prices will rise 4 percent on average this year, the biggest increase since 2008. By 2020, prices are expected to climb an additional 13 percent, a forecast that does not include the costs of coming environmental rules.
In 2013, President Obama was given the “Lie of The Year” award for claiming that Obamacare would allow people to keep their current health insurance. Now a new statement might win Obama that award for 2014 as well: Obama claims that his new Environmental Protection Agency regulations will lower people’s electric bills.
On June 2, he stated, “Your electricity bills will shrink as these standards spur investment in energy efficiency, cutting waste and, ultimately, we’re going to be saving money for homes and for businesses.”
Yet in 2008 he admitted his agenda was to make electricity rates “skyrocket,” supposedly to save the planet. And the EPA’s own analysis predicts their regulations will raise electric rates an extra 6% to 24% by 2020.
Careful research reveals the carefully-contrived statements Obama is using to leave consumers a totally false impression about the impact of the new EPA regulations.
President Obama’s latest EPA plans give America only bad choices which all will cause electric bills to skyrocket.
While claiming states will have “fexibility” to reduce carbon dioxide, the limited options are all bad. It’s like a classic Three Stooges routine: The Stooges are given a choice either of being burned at the stake or beheaded. Curly chooses the fire. “After all,” he says, “a hot steak is better than a cold chop.”
The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t offering anything better. They are not targeting something tangible, dirty or visible like soot or carbon particles, which is the purpose of the Clean Air Act. Instead, they want to reduce carbon dioxide, which is not a pollutant. CO2 is invisible whether it’s coming out of a smokestack, exhaled from your lungs, or released by plants at night. Obama’s justification is all about supposed “global warming” and “climate change,” not about pollution.
Be careful where you spit. You might create a wetland, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. By adopting new loosey-goosey definitions, EPA aims to expand their control over people’s lives.
Claiming it’s merely to “clarify” their jurisdiction under the 1972 Clean Water Act, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers propose to expand their power with new regulations giving them authority over small, temporary and seasonal flows of water. Like where people spit. And of course mud puddles. Might kids splashing in a puddle become a federal offense?
Federal regulators mandate use of ethanol in gasoline for “environmental benefits,” applying what they call a “renewable fuel standard.” That makes corn a much more profitable crop than without the regulation.
But a detailed study by The Associated Press concluded that the rationale is phony. Some of the findings:
As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.
Five million acres of land set aside for conservation—more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined—have vanished on Obama’s watch.
Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.