The following is an observation of Washington farm and trade policy made by DTN’s “well-placed observer.”
Last year, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced legislation that would combine the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. This week, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is expected to introduce a similar proposal in the House. No Senate committee has yet to hold a hearing on Burr’s bill, which was introduced last May.
According to Blackburn, the proposal to create a Department of Energy and the Environment would save an estimated $3 billion in the next year.
In a statement, Blackburn also said, “If we are going to put America back on the right path to prosperity, we need to cut the fat in Washington and get rid of excessive regulations that are stifling the ability of our nation’s small businesses to grow and create jobs.” Her statement did not indicate how combining the two government organizations would reduce the number of regulations that each would have issued if they had remained separate.
Burr’s proposal would require the secretary of the new department to issue a determination of whether each proposed rule would or would not have a “substantial impact on the economy of the United States or large numbers of individuals or businesses.” It does not quantify what would constitute a “substantial impact,” meaning that that issuance of regulations could be held up by court actions convened to define the ambiguous term.
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Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp