NMA Shows Congress the Administration’s Regulatory Burden on Mining

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn issued the following comments today highlighting the association’s response to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs’ request for examples of existing and proposed regulations whose costs exceed anticipated benefits, are duplicative of existing rules or are unnecessary:

“Identifying costly and redundant regulations is a target rich environment. The long list we have provided the committee of regulations with no benefits remotely commensurate with their costs or are otherwise redundant and serve no compelling purpose demonstrates two important points.

“First, it shows an indifference to the costs such regulations impose on job creation, capital investment and economic growth — and how few, if any, significant public benefits are expected in return. Two examples from the Environmental Protection Agency highlight the crisis. The mercury and air toxics rule on power plants, by the agency’s own estimate, will cost $10 billion each year yet deliver at most $4-$6 million in benefits. The agency also targeted the hard rock mining industry for additional financial bonding regulations that duplicate and preempt similar requirements already imposed on metals and minerals mining by the states and two other federal agencies that saw no justification for new EPA regulations.

“Second, NMA’s list suggests a disturbing double standard: while businesses such as mining must comply with regulations, the regulatory agencies plainly ignore executive orders to review their existing regulations and repeal those that are outdated, inefficient and no longer serve useful purposes.

“Above all, the regulations listed here should give greater urgency to Congressional attempts to curb regulatory excess. With new signs of declining productivity and high-wage employment throughout the economy, Congress should lighten the growing regulatory burden if the regulators do not.”