If indeed, as Yahoo reports, “Barack Obama’s Latest Mission [will be to] Get Rid of Regulations That Are Just Plain Dumb,” William O’Keefe of the Houston Chronicle has a good first step to prove if the president is serious, or as South Park’s Al Gore parody would say, merely super cereal:
Many forget that President Clinton began his tenure in office with a very aggressive and liberal agenda. He proposed a BTU tax, a major overhaul of our health care system, overly stringent climate policies, and individual tax increases. After losing a number of early battles and, in 1994, the House of Representatives, President Clinton engaged in what has become known as “triangulation” in order to avoid also losing re-election.
Now it is President Obama’s turn.
The nation will be fortunate if he learned from November that America is governed best from the middle. Policies pushed from either political extreme are not sustainable and often produce serious unintended consequences.
The challenge facing President Obama does not stop with issuing an Executive Order that may be inconsistent with his political philosophy; it also involves getting the bureaucracy to faithfully implement it. The last two years have tainted the U.S. with an anti-business, anti-investment climate. Until investors, entrepreneurs, and other business leaders have reason to believe that has changed, progress in undoing the economic damage of the last two years will languish.
As a first step, the President could direct the Department of Interior to expedite issuance of permits for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and to remove the recently issued ban on offshore drilling off of the East Coast. That action would have a big impact on unemployment in Gulf coast states and would send a signal that the U.S. plans to exercise more control over its energy future. Although the White House is a big proponent of “green” energy, it needs to acknowledge that since these fuels are a long way from being commercially viable, fossil energy will continue to provide the main source of power for our economy for decades to come.
While all agencies need to do a better job of avoiding regulatory overkill, EPA currently threatens to have the biggest impact on our economic recovery and job creation. Its proposed rules on boilers, stationary sources, and ambient air quality standards offer compelling evidence that it is out of control and pursuing an ideological agenda without regard to economic consequences. Those proposals are already having a chilling effect on investments. President Obama should direct EPA to suspend all pending actions to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including plans to issue another set of CAFE regulations to mandate a fleet average of 45-62 miles per gallon.
Your move, Mister President.
Speaking of which, at the Small Dead Animals blog, it’s a fight between “Volt vs. Colt:”
In its obsessive desire to promote the virtues of electric cars, the BBC proudly showed us last week how its reporter Brian Milligan was able to drive an electric Mini from London to Edinburgh in a mere four days – with nine stops of up to 10 hours to recharge the batteries (with electricity from fossil fuels).
What the BBC omitted to tell us was that in the 1830s, a stagecoach was able to make the same journey in half the time…
Well, “progressivism” really is all about building a bridge to the 19th century.