One of President Trump’s major promises during last year’s election was to roll back Obama-era regulations and red tape that makes it harder for American businesses to succeed. It appears the president is taking that promise seriously, as he swiftly canceled over 800 pending regulations that were set to be enacted after Obama approved them last year.
On Thursday, the White House removed over 800 regulations in an effort to reduce regulatory red tape put in place by past administrations, namely those enacted under former president Barack Obama.
Obama ended his administration with a record-shattering regulatory rulebook. In fact, Obama’s regulations numbered 81,640 pages in 2016 alone, making him the only president to exceed the 80,000 pages mark. In 2015, more than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans, pushing the total burden for the Obama years to exceed $100 billion annually.
Now, President Trump is doing what he can to unravel the massive web of government regulations by canceling each and every pending Obama-era regulation that was set to take place this year.
The White House said Thursday it had withdrawn or removed from active consideration more than 800 proposed regulations that were never finalized during the Obama administration as it works to shrink the federal government’s regulatory footprint.
In a report, the Trump administration said it had withdrawn 469 planned actions that had been part of the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda published last fall. Officials also reconsidered 391 active regulatory proceedings by reclassifying them as long-term or inactive “allowing for further careful review,” the White House said.
The steps to eliminate regulations makes good on a much-repeated Trump campaign promise to promote business-friendly policies. Investors have anticipated the action, helping to push share prices higher on hopes that fewer regulations will boost business growth and lead to higher corporate profits.
The Trump administration has identified nearly 300 regulations related to energy production and environmental protection it plans to rescind, review or delay across three agencies – the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior and Energy Departments.
Trump had identified several of the regulations as targets in his March executive orders on energy, but they will now undergo a formal rulemaking process to be rescinded or revised.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the administration was addressing “that slow cancer that can come from regulatory burdens that we put on our people.”
Shortly after taking office, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at regulatory reform and tasked federal agencies to roll back “red tape” by seeking to repeal at least two rules for every new one enacted.
Trump has vowed a sweeping cut in U.S. regulations and previously ordered agencies to repeal two rules for every new one adopted.
The Interior Department is reviewing an Obama-era rule that directed companies to reduce venting and flaring and methane leaks from oil and gas production on federal and tribal land, according to a White House semi-annual government-wide regulation report.
Representatives of the oil and gas industry cheered.
“We just got through eight years of a regulatory onslaught, aimed at curtailing oil and gas production. So we are very supportive of the administration’s efforts to roll back regulation,” said Kathleen Sgamma, head of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and gas drillers in Western states.
She said membership was particularly pleased about the effort to repeal the methane rule, which the industry estimated would have cost about $50,000 per well. Methane is one of the gases scientists say is driving global climate change.
The U.S. Transportation Department said it would review a number of Obama administration proposals that were close to being finalized including making automobile event data recorders mandatory, requiring sounds for electric cars and updating some crash test dummy standards.
Various departments in the federal government are reviewing regulations for roll back that are currently on the books, such as the Energy Department looking at “efficiency standards” for household appliances, which I can only imagine end up increasing the final cost of these products for the consumer.
The Energy Department listed dozens of energy efficiency standards for commercial and household appliances that it would review.
The White House said the regulatory agenda “represents the beginning of fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation toward reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on the American people.”
Federal regulations and their negative impact on small businesses is nothing new, but under the Obama administration the rules grew exponentially. In 2013, the founder of Subway said his company “wouldn’t exist” if he tried to start it today due to massive amounts of regulations and red tape that would present serious roadblocks.
Fred Deluca told CNBC Wednesday that he believes government regulations are preventing entrepreneurs from creating value in the economy, saying the environment for U.S. entrepreneurs is getting continuously worse.
“If I started Subway today, Subway would not exist,” Deluca told CNBC.
Deluca named a number of government regulations, including a possible increase in the minimum wage, the end of the payroll tax holiday and the the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.
Deluca said ObamaCare is “the biggest concern of our franchisees.”
“They don’t know what to expect,” he told CNBC. “It’s causing a lot of concern, but that too will be passed on to the consumer.”
Thankfully for entrepreneurs, President Trump is a businessman who knows the challenges that small businesses face in today’s economy. Between Obamacare and tens of thousands of new regulations, President Obama seemed intent on destroying what little opportunity was left for American entrepreneurs to compete with big corporations in the modern market. President Trump, however, has made phenomenal progress towards eliminating red tape and bringing back the opportunity for Americans to follow their dreams, although don’t’ expect the mainstream media to report on this.