Pete Sepp is executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union.
Few can deny that former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Al Armendariz’s comments implying the agency could “crucify” private businesses with regulatory enforcement were tactless. More importantly, however, his harsh words, the fallout of which culminated in his resignation this week, offer a glimpse behind the curtain on the administration’s approach to policy. And they point out larger fundamental changes beyond one official’s departure that are needed to clear away the thicket around the regulatory system that is entangling job creators.
As our economy continues to struggle to regain momentum, the administration should be focused on creating an environment of growth and investment. Unfortunately, its prerogative seems to be one of intervention and intimidation. Across nearly every industry, policymakers have demonstrated an inclination to subjectively pick winners and losers in the marketplace, especially toward the energy sector. One doesn’t need to look far to realize Uncle Sam is a poor player in this arena, as my colleague Nan Swift has been pointing out in the recent debate over reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.
The president’s energy policies have in reality killed job-creating projects, denied robust offshore production, and hamstrung domestic economic development. At the same time, tax policies have decreased U.S. competitiveness abroad. And despite anemic job creation, agencies continue to hobble private businesses with increasingly complex and numerous regulations.
Read more at US News and World Report. By Pete Sepp.