Any assumption that the environmental lobby has been fighting an uphill battle to implement important regulations belies the facts, a new study has found. In fact, environmental regulations have grown at an exponential pace, and their cost to the federal government is second only to that of homeland security regulations.
The report, by the think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the federal government spent $6 billion in 2006 on the development and implementation of environmental regulations and the effort to ensure compliance, an increase of 7,372% since 1960. Environmental spending has grown more than three times faster than homeland security spending, which increased 2,089% in the same period, to $15 billion, according to federal budgetary data.
“Environmental policies are unchecked and growing,” the director of risk and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Angela Logomasini, the author of the report, said.
Between 1973 and 2004, there were more environmental laws passed — 1,163 — than any other type. The most active years for new legislation were 1987-88, during the Reagan administration, and 1999-2000, when Congress was Republican.