House of Representatives trying to stop new fracking rules

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote next week on the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act" (H.R. 4078) – a bill that, among other things, imposes a moratorium on issuing virtually any new regulations as long as unemployment remains above 6 percent, regardless of the substance of such regulations or support for them.  The proposed BLM fracking rule is just one example of a standard that would be blocked by this bill.

My colleague Elly Pepper has outlined why this bill is such a horrible idea in her blog. As Elly points out, this bill would stop rules for many important purposes, including food safety and veterans benefits. The bill is based on a false assumption that regulations are always bad for the economy. We know this is not the case for many propposed rules where the benefits outweigh any costs. In the case of the BLM's proposed fracking rule, agency analysis concluded that the proposal would not have negative economic impact and, as my colleague Briana Mordick points out in her blog, recent oil and gas industry economic analysis used unsubstantiated assumptions and claims that are inaccurate.

This bill is seeks to establish a very dangerous way of governing the United States, and it deserves to die in the House next week.