Federal agencies wrote a record breaking 81,611 pages of regulations last year to advance President Obama’s massive regulatory agenda which includes tackling issues from global warming to health care. (1)
“That’s higher than 2014 at 77,687 pages and higher than it’s ever been at 81,405,” wrote Clyde Crews, the vice president for policy at the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Obama has lived up to his promise to use his ‘pen and phone’ to change US policy, issuing 29 executive orders and 31 executive memoranda last year. That’s on top of the 3,378 final rules issued by federal agencies like the EPA and the Energy Department. (1)
Some of the costliest regulations imposed on Americans were issued by the EPA to regulate power plants and air quality. The EPA also issued a new rule redefining ‘waters of the United states’ under the Clean Water Act which will drastically increase the agency’s control over US waterways, including ditches, streams, and private ponds.
Obama has a zeal to shut down every coal-fired plant in the US. At the heart of his program are EPA regulations that will make it impossible to open any new coal plant and will systematically shut down existing plants. “Politically the White House is hesitant to say they’re not having a war on coal,” explained one of Obama’s climate advisers. “On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” (2)
But the regulations listed in the Federal Register are only the tip of the iceberg, according to Crews, who wrote regulation “No longer stops with the rules we can readily count in the Federal Register. Agency guidance documents and numerous other kinds of notices, bulletins, circulars, memoranda and decrees make up Regulatory Dark Matter. These agency guidelines and other documents can also have significant effects on the US economy.” (1)