A new release from the Mercatus Center provides even more evidence of what is becoming painfully clear in the commonwealth: that the benefits of too many federal rules simply don’t measure up to the costs.
In fact, of the 108 federal rules that Mercatus deemed “economically significant” between 2008 and 2012, the federal agency responsible for the rule provided “no evidence of any use” to support the rule in 64 percent of the cases! And in only 21 percent of the rules did the relevant agency provide a regulatory impact analysis for even a minor decision affected by the rule.
According to the report, the top three weaknesses in agency analysis are:
1. failing to define the problem,
2. failing to identify and evaluate options other than the proposed regulation, and
3. failing to establish the means to evaluate the regulation’s outcomes.
In Kentucky, we’ve seen these weaknesses time and again. Whether it be blocked mining permits, boondoggles like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or the current administration’s newest carbon regulations, any cost-benefit regulatory impact analysis would reveal the fact that Kentuckians are set to bite the bullet big time. And that’s probably precisely why federal regulatory agencies so often neglect to even provide one.