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Mr. QUAYLE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Jobs Creation Act.
Now, time and time again, when I talk to small business owners in my district, they say that the number one challenge holding them back from expanding their business and hiring more workers is uncertainty in regulation and taxation.
The current pro-regulatory administration has issued nearly four times the number of regulations as the previous administration. The administration's own numbers show that U.S. businesses spent over 8.8 billion hours complying with Federal paperwork requirements. To put this into perspective, this is equal to 1 million years of filling out government paperwork.
Mr. Chairman, one of these costly regulations that the EPA is currently imposing is the Regional Haze Rule that could close down power plants across the country, all for aesthetics. This regulation affects the Navajo generating station in Arizona, which could cost $1.1 billion in initial compliance costs, hundreds of Arizona jobs, and cost $90 million a year, increasing the cost of electricity and water across the State of Arizona.
And what does $90 million a year get us?
Well, according to the administration's own study, they found inconclusive evidence that these regulations would improve visibility at all.
Across the country, pro-regulatory environment groups are suing the EPA and forcing these haze requirements through settlement and consent decrees. In my home State of Arizona, the EPA entered into a consent decree with nine environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund, which will affect the emission control technology at coal-fired power plants throughout the State.
Regulations have costly and job-killing implications, and it is important that the rulemaking process is not written behind closed doors by activist groups and regulatory agencies.
I am pleased that a bill that I have sponsored is included in this package, H.R. 3862, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act. This legislation provides transparency to these sue-and-settle agreements and consent decrees, which are used by activist groups to dictate regulations behind closed doors, and often contrary to congressional intent, if an agency misses a statutory deadline.
My bill ensures that interested parties will have an opportunity to provide comments and requires courts to consider the impact on States and tribes. Additionally, my bill makes it easier for future administrations to modify consent decrees as circumstances and facts dictate.
This legislation is increasingly necessary as more statutory deadlines slip due to the large number of rulemakings that were mandated during the previous Congress, notably in ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank.
I urge my colleagues to support this pro-growth bill.
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