Late last year, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the country’s major trade associations and private corporations asking them which regulations they want to see weakened or eliminated.
In response, the GOP-friendly National Association of Manufacturers has asked him to probe forthcoming regulations aimed at enhancing worker health, improving toxin standards, mitigating climate pollution and preventing another crisis on Wall Street.
In a letter dated January 7, NAM demands “immediate action and attention is needed on the following areas of regulatory policy this Administration is in the midst of proposing or implementing. If they are not substantially changed from their present form, they could cost millions of jobs and weaken an economy in a still fragile recovery.”
Some of the regulations — particularly of greenhouse gas emissions — come as no surprise. Others will raise eyebrows.
For instance: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule that would establish more stringent emissions standards on industrial and commercial boilers and process heaters (i.e. Boiler MACT). This broad-reaching proposal could cost manufacturers over $20 billion in compliance costs and place hundreds of thousands of jobs in jeopardy.”
Here’s how the EPA puts it. “These rules would significantly cut emissions of pollutants that are of particular concern for children. Mercury and lead can cause adverse affects on children’s developing brains — including effects on IQ, learning, and memory. The rules would also reduce emissions of other pollutants including cadmium, dioxin, furans, formaldehyde and hydrochloric acid. These pollutants can cause cancer or other adverse health effects in adults and children.”
NAM also takes aim at an OSHA injury and illness protection plan that would require employers to find and fix hazards in their workplace. This, NAM says, “would have sweeping ramifications on all aspects of both workplace safety enforcement and the promulgation of new regulations.”
You can read the entire letter here. Given NAM’s influence in the GOP, it likely provides a glimpse at the sorts of regulations Republicans will challenge.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.