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Ghouls and Goblins and Guidances

Every year, Frankenstein-esque regulations are pieced together in Washington, sometimes with comment periods and Congressional approval, but oftentimes without any oversight at all. Halloween is the perfect time to examine the haunting regulations spreading from Washington into your homes.

The Spectrum Spectre: Net Neutrality

This ghost of telecommunication regulations past treats broadband providers like public utilities under net neutrality, using the same guidelines that the Ma Bell telephone monopoly was regulated under in 1934! Broadband customers don’t benefit from this regulation, but are actually harmed by it, because since the rule was issued in 2015, companies have reduced their investment in broadband deployment and education. These onerous regulations, with frameworks built in the distant past, haunt the electromagnetic spectrum to this day.

Jurassic Joint Employer

The joint employer standard is scary for any business owner or contractor, because it increases the potential that they will be held liable for labor violations against another company’s workers. In 2015, the Department of Labor invented this new, vague, and overly broad definition of joint employment that hurts both large franchised companies and small businesses. From an employee side, this standard could make someone less likely to contract you for work because of higher compliance costs and fear of prosecution. What’s the scariest thing for an employee? Losing their job because of this regulation!

Phantom Payday Lending Rule

The payday lending rule comes from one of the scariest and most gruesome federal agencies in all of Washington: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This rule makes it more difficult for lenders to offer loans to anyone with bad credit or no savings—the people who most need access to payday lending services. This regulation is all tricks and no treats.

Dangerous Endangerment Finding

The Endangerment Finding is a policy statement by the Environmental Protection Agency that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health. The real danger of the Endangerment Finding, however, is that it rests on unsound science. The computer models that produced the finding are faulty, which is why more than 60 climate and public health experts sent a letter to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt asking him to revisit it.

Regulatory Dark Matter

The scariest part of any horror movie is the unseen danger; that’s precisely what regulatory dark matter is. In agencies all across Washington, rules and regulations ooze down the halls, bearing the force of law but without going through the required approval or comment process. This makes agencies more powerful than your elected representatives in Congress!

You could consider CEI to be the Ghostbusters of Washington, fighting back ghouls and goblins on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. To keep up with how exactly CEI is fighting these scary regulations, sign up for our newsletter here!