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Issa releases letters from industry on regulations

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Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has released a massive collection of letters received from nonprofits, businesses, and trade associations regarding the impact of government regulations on job creation nationwide.

Not surprisingly, the responses are overwhelmingly in favor of decreasing regulations, with most of the letters expressing dismay at the impact regulations are having on their specific industries.

The letters, which were solicited either directly by Chairman Issa’s office or through www.AmericanJobCreators.com, are available in a 1,947-page unsearchable PDF file hosted on Issa’s congressional website.

Financial groups like the Financial Services Roundtable and the Commodity Markets Council wrote letters about concerns with the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law while agricultural associations like the International Dairy Food Association and the American Meat Institute had complaints about regulations from the Department of Agriculture.

A frequent complaint cutting across multiple industries centers on environmental regulations. Trade groups such as the National Alliance of Forest Owners and the Methanol Institute complain that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is particularly problematic, with “potentially significant negative impacts on jobs, the economy and the environment.”

Some groups, such as the American Chemistry Council, list the specific job loss that they believe regulations are responsible for. The group writes that “just one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s propose regulations — for industrial boilers and heaters (the so-called “Boiler MACT” rules) — would jeopardize some 60,000 jobs and impose capital costs on the order of $3.8 billion in the chemical industry alone.” The trade association also contends that EPA’s “economic models and approach to evaluating scientific information are flawed” and should be examined by Issa’s committee.

In addition to their letters, trade associations and think tanks also submitted previously published reports for inclusion. At least one group, Resources for the Future, decided to take full advantage of the opportunity to share their thoughts. The file includes a copy of their 240-page report entitled “Reforming Regulatory Impact Analysis,” complete with a preface and author bios.

“Policymakers often hear anecdotal examples from job creators about how government regulations impede the type of permanent, private-sector job creation necessary to successfully lower unemployment,” Issa said in a statement. “This project is an opportunity for private industry to put forward detailed and specific examples so that both the American people and policymakers can determine for themselves what actions can be taken to create jobs.”

Issa plans to hold a Thursday hearing on the responses he received.

Update 2/8/11 12:00 PM: After publication, a new version of the report was released with searchable content. That file can be found by clicking here.