While Americans are focused on what delicious foods they’re going to eat for Thanksgiving, the White House is focused on releasing its massive regulatory agenda — marking the fifth time the Obama administration has released its regulatory road map on the eve of a major holiday. The federal Unified Agenda is the Obama administration’s regulatory road map, and it lays out thousands of regulations being finalized in the coming months. Under President Barack Obama, there has been a tradition of releasing the agenda late on Friday — and right before a major holiday.I bet Obama is shaking in hs boots over that.
“It’s become an unfortunate tradition of this administration and others to drop these regulatory agendas late on a Friday and right before a holiday,” Matt Shudtz, executive director of the Center for Progressive Reform, told The Hill newspaper.
The White House’s regulatory agenda for spring 2014 was released on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, when millions of people set out on weekend getaways or family vacations.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s an update on protections for Americans of all stripes,” Shudtz told the Hill. “It lays out the administration’s plan and it deserves more attention.”
But the White House may have a good reason to do so because its Unified Agenda for fall 2014 includes some 3,415 regulations– more than the last regulatory agenda, and one that includes 189 rules that cost more than $100 million.They have been criticized by Republicans and the coal industry for accelerating the demise of coal-fired power and for setting the stage for increases in electricity prices. Republicans, who are set to take control of the Senate next year, have vowed to fight EPA regulations...
...A more pressing EPA rule set to be finalized is the so-called coal ash rule for coal-fired power plants. A final rule will be issued by Dec. 19, and could be bad news for the power sector, which will bear the brunt of $20.3 billion in compliance costs.Even Saturday Night Live has noticed Obama's expansion of executive authority. In its opening sketch, the comedy show, using an old Schoolhouse Rock song, presented the difference between a bill and and an executive order in the Obama Administration. See the original Schoolhouse Rock "How a Bill Becomes a Law" here and the SNL sketch here.
But probably the most fought-over rules to be finalized by the EPA next year will be its redefining of the “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The EPA will issue its redefinition next year, according to the agenda.
Federal lawmakers from both parties, along with companies from virtually every sector of the economy, have opposed the rule, saying it greatly expands the EPA’s power to regulate even small bodies of water on private property.
“The ‘waters of the U.S.’ rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter, adding “they want to take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country, while at the same time providing a new tool for environmental groups to sue private property owners.”
But the EPA says the rule is needed to clear up uncertainty over the EPA’s jurisdiction in the wake of two Supreme Court rulings. the EPA says “the decisions established important considerations for how those regulations should be interpreted” and that “[e]xperience implementing the regulations following the two court cases has identified several areas that could benefit from additional clarification through rulemaking.”
White House Quietly Releases Plans for 3,415 Regulations Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, Nov. 24, 2014