New rules and regulations coming out of the EPA, OSHA and other government agencies are short-sighted, expensive and will ultimately do more harm than good, according to a new Republican theme.
As the house deputy whip, Republican Congressman Peter Roskam used some visits back home Tuesday to underscore the claim that too much regulation means nothing but trouble for jobs. He visited the Chicago White Metal casting in Bensenville, which makes $ 28 million in annual revenue. The family- run business has 250 employees who make metal cast components that are used in a wide array of automotive, health-care, and telecommunications equipment. The company has made it through the thick and thin of three generations, and although business is good now, CEO Eric Treiber is unsettled with the prospect of new government regulations.
"You start pushing energy costs up and those are expenses you can't pass on to your customers; they don't want to hear about that," Treiber said.
Congressman Peter Roskam has heard that message before. It is a message that he and other GOP House leaders intend to make a key component of the next campaign - that the Obama administration is muscling through EPA reguations that are illogical and unnecessary job killers.
"The question is, where is the wisdom behind these regulations? And are they adding value and safety?" Congressman Roskam said.
For example, according to the company, one proposed rule would require it to reduce particulate matter inside the plant from 15-parts per billion to 2.5-parts per billion, which would mean the air in the plant would be significantly cleaner than the air outside. That means new equipment and higher cost.
"What kind of manufacturing company could absorb those types of costs and expect to remain competitive?" Treiber said.
"We were asked if we were anti-regulation and that's not at all what our industry's about. We're about regulations that make sense," Dan Twarog, North American Die Casting Association, said.
Treiber says one of his employees now devotes half his time just to satisfying EPA paperwork and permits, and with new proposed greenhouse gas emissions likely coming to smaller business, workload and cost will climb at the expense of jobs.
"We need a break and what we don't need are regulations that are coming from Washington that are inflexible, unwise, and ultimately don't add any value," Congressman Roskam said.
In a letter to the House speaker, President Obama said Tuesday that his administration has created a regulatory environment that is less burdensome than it was under George Bush -- and that the new rules, many of which are only proposed, have already laid the groundwork for saving money and saving lives.