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BRT President Says Cumulative Effects of Regulation Pose Expensive Challenge for Business Investment and U.S. Economic Growth

Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) President John Engler told an American Bar Association (ABA) gathering today that America's CEOs are increasingly concerned about the cumulative effects of federal regulations that discourage business investment, slow job creation and harm economic growth. Pragmatic reforms that BRT has offered to the Obama Administration and Congress would bring balance and efficiency to the regulatory process to meet regulatory goals without unduly burdening business.

In a speech to hundreds of agency attorneys, corporate counsels and government relations professionals at ABA’s Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Institute, Engler said:

“… [B]usiness does not believe that all regulations are bad or undesirable, but regulators should recognize that regulation can dramatically affect investment decisions, hiring, and economic growth … [T]he additive effect [of multiple regulations] constitutes an underappreciated, but expensive problem for business and economic growth.”

Led by Andrew Liveris, Chairman, President and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, BRT’s Executive Committee developed a comprehensive and detailed plan for regulatory reform contained in two landmark reports: Achieving Smarter Regulation and Permitting Jobs and Business Investment. BRT’s CEOs discussed the outlines of their reform agenda with President Obama in March, and the Administration has taken some positive steps, including the launch of an online dashboard to track progress in permitting major energy and infrastructure projects. 

In the reports, BRT CEOs recommend:

  • The government should objectively analyze the costs and benefits of proposed and final major rules from all agencies, including “independent” regulatory commissions.
  • Agencies should publicly disclose the estimated costs of planned regulatory actions early in the regulatory process and with greater specificity.
  • The federal government should streamline the permitting process for siting and operating a new facility/project, designate a single agency to have primary permitting responsibility for each project and create a public online permit-tracking dashboard that would track the dates and status of all federal permit applications across agencies.
  • Congress should consider changes to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” particularly relating to the content of the rulemaking record and greater judicial scrutiny of that record.

“Bottom line is we’ve got a nation on edge. The CEOs of BRT want to elevate the debate. They want to get the country moving,” said Engler.

Please click here for a copy of Engler’s speech to the ABA.