Well, of course the EPA isn’t scoring the impact of their proposed regulations on jobs. If they did, the results would force Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama in the White House to explain why their policies are killing economic growth. Unfortunately, EPA Deputy Administrator Mathy Stanislaus had to answer the direct question from Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) on Thursday, spilling the beans — and putting the White House on the spot:
President Obama issued an executive order three months ago requiring all agencies to calculate the impact of proposed regulations on job creation and growth, as the Daily Caller reports. The EO’s Section 1 lays out the requirement, which also applies to periodic review of existing regulation, too:
Section 1. General Principles of Regulation. (a) Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. It must be based on the best available science. It must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. It must promote predictability and reduce uncertainty. It must identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. It must take into account benefits and costs, both quantitative and qualitative. It must ensure that regulations are accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand. It must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements.
(b) This order is supplemental to and reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing contemporary regulatory review that were established in Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. As stated in that Executive Order and to the extent permitted by law, each agency must, among other things: (1) propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); (2) tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives, taking into account, among other things, and to the extent practicable, the costs of cumulative regulations; (3) select, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity); (4) to the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than specifying the behavior or manner of compliance that regulated entities must adopt; and (5) identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees or marketable permits, or providing information upon which choices can be made by the public.
(c) In applying these principles, each agency is directed to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible. Where appropriate and permitted by law, each agency may consider (and discuss qualitatively) values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts.
Actually, for all the White House bluster about this EO’s protection of job creation, it only mentions the word “job” once in the entire document. However, the meaning and intent is clear: regulatory agencies are supposed to calculate the impact of regulation on job creation, especially new regulations. The EPA has literally not read the memo, nor do they seem particularly concerned about job creation at all. In fact, the question appears to be a non-sequitur to Stanislaus, who gets so confused at the 3:15 mark that he stops responding and puts his head on his hand, jaw silently working.
Gardner, by the way, is one of the House Republican freshman class. He’s off to a great start.