Environmental Regulation, Laws Grow Unchecked

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> 

Contact: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Christine Hall, 202.331.2258


Washington, D.C., August 30, 2007—Two new reports from the Competitive Enterprise Institute show how the number of environmental regulations and laws proliferate more than in any other area of federal regulation, often without direct congressional oversight—resulting in huge costs on American citizens and businesses, unchecked, at the behest of the powerful environmental lobby. 


For example, Congress is preparing to finalize a mega-billion dollar energy bill that includes more restrictions to prevent drilling on federal land, illustrating the massive influence of the environmental lobby. 


Among the quantitative findings in The Green Regulatory State and Environmentalism’s Legal Legacy:


  • During years in which environmental activists complained that Congress was doing little on the environment, environmental regulations continued to grow substantially. In fact, many environmental laws require federal agencies to issue regulations on an ongoing basis.
  • Environmental regulations comprise nearly 30 percent of all economically significant regulations submitted for regulatory review—making it the largest area of regulation by this measure.
  • Over a 32-year period, environmental issues—excluding symbolic laws—experienced more activity than any other category of laws, even outperforming a mega-issue category that included all bills dealing with commerce, social and public welfare, and defense.
  • When adjusted for inflation, environmental regulatory spending has grown from $81 million to more than $6 billion in 2000 dollars, or 7,372 percent between 1960 and 2006. Only homeland security-related spending exceeds environmental spending, with federal outlays of more than $15 billion in 2006.


In short, the studies find that major initiatives aimed at overhauling and redirecting environmental policy in a conservative direction have largely failed and will likely continue on the current course.


Read The Green Regulatory State


Read Environmentalism's Legal Legacy: A Quantitative Analysis of Legislative Activity


Author: Angela Logomasini, Director of Risk and Environmental Policy – bio & publications