Ed. Note: Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal on 21st-Century Regulation and the ways federal agencies are eliminating unnecessary rules to save businesses money. Read it here. Sign up for email updates from the White House for news on 21st Century Government.
Earlier this year President Obama outlined his regulatory strategy – one that protects public health and welfare while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. As a key part of that plan, the President called for an unprecedented government-wide review of rules already on the books to identify which ones need to be changed or removed because they're out-of-date, unnecessary, or just don't make sense.
Today, the results of that review are in. More than two dozen Agencies have identified initiatives with the potential to eliminate tens of millions of hours in reporting burdens, and billions of dollars in regulatory costs, and this is just the beginning. Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote in the Wall Street Journal today:
The initial review announced today is just the start of an ongoing process. Our goal is to change the regulatory culture of Washington by constantly asking what's working and what isn't. To achieve that goal, we need to obtain real-world evidence and data. We also need to draw on the experience and wisdom of the American people—which is why the president has put an emphasis on asking the public for their comments, ideas and suggestions. And so, before today's plans are finalized, the public will weigh in.
Now's your chance to weigh in. Visit whitehouse.gov/regulatoryreform to read the agency plans and share your comments, feedback and questions.
Here are a few highlights from the agency plans (read them all here):
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing a final rule that will remove over 1.9 million annual hours of redundant reporting burdens on employers and save more than $40 million in annual costs. Businesses will no longer be saddled with the obligation to fill out unnecessary government forms, meaning that their employees will have more time to be productive and do their real work.
- EPA will propose to eliminate the redundant obligation for many states to require air pollution vapor recovery systems at local gas stations because modern vehicles already have effective air pollution control technologies. The anticipated annual savings are about $67 million.
- The Departments of Commerce and State are undertaking a series of steps to eliminate unnecessary barriers to exports, including duplicative and unnecessary regulatory requirements, thus reducing the cumulative burden and uncertainty faced by American companies and their trading partners. These steps will make it a lot easier for American companies to reach new markets, increasing our exports while creating jobs here at home.
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