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Blog

The FDA's New Overreaching Regulations on Vaping Products Harm Public Health and Destroy Innovative Small Businesses

On August 8, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new rules on vaping products go into effect. Federal law gives the FDA the power to regulate “tobacco products,” and the new rules cover a long list of products that the FDA is now deeming tobacco products. In a leap of logic that only a regulator could understand, the FDA will apply its “tobacco” regulations to products that do not contain tobacco, such as e-cigarettes and other vaping products. How can this be possible? Well in the mind of a regulator in Washington, the idea that a product or activity might not be subject to regulation is a foreign concept.

08/05/2016
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Blog

Obama Announces New Executive Action to Prevent Economic Growth

If you thought the Keystone Pipeline permitting farce was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced new regulatory guidance which will inject the same ignorant obsessions of so-called climate change activists into the permitting process of the entire federal government. This action means that bureaucrats and their radical environmentalist allies will now be able to take the same tactics of death-by-permitting-delay seen in the case of Keystone and apply them to every other project affected by the federal National Environmental Policy Act. This means roads, bridges, mines, housing developments, pipelines, and more will now be held hostage to that tiny minority of Americans who would like nothing more than to return this country to the Stone Age.

08/04/2016
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Blog

The Federal Government Wants to Re-regulate the Railroads

The United States has the most developed and efficient freight railroad system in the world. In contrast to Europe, where the large majority of freight is moved by road, by weight and distance travelled freight rail provides the largest share of the transportation mix in the US. This is no accident. In 1980, recognizing the sclerotic and weak state of the heavily-regulated rail industry, a deliberate decision was made to deregulate freight rail. The subsequent recovery of the freight rail industry might seem to be a lesson in the value of reducing federal interference to the average person, but not to a regulator. Perhaps offended by their example, regulators in Washington have been hunting for ways to re-impose regulatory control over American freight rail.

07/27/2016
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Blog

Don’t ALLOW Occupational Licensing

Last Tuesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah.) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) spoke at a Heritage Foundation panel discussion on the damage and ineffectiveness of occupational licensing.

07/21/2016
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Regulators Vow Revenge Against States for Opposing Federal Land Grab

On Tuesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) formally announced the removal of the lesser prairie chicken from the endangered species protection list. They did not take this step voluntarily; FWS lost a court case last year which ordered the agency to remove the bird from the list. However, even as they complied with the court’s order, the FWS issued a threat that the agency’s land grab under the guise of conservation was not over. In the words of Director Dan Ashe, “Responding to this court ruling by removing the bird from the Federal List does not mean we are walking away from efforts to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken. Far from it." The Empire has vowed to strike back.

07/20/2016
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Blog

Obama Administration Continues Regulatory Assault on Offshore Oil and Gas

Last week the Obama administration released yet another regulation intended to undermine the viability of the offshore oil and gas industry in the United States. On July 7, the Department of Interior announced its new rules for drilling offshore in Alaska. For the first time ever, the administration decided to create special rules for Alaska, more onerous than the rules that apply to offshore production in the rest of the country. No accidents or incidents have occurred to warrant these new aggressive rules, but then for a regulator when it comes to regulation, there never seems to be a need to ask why.

07/18/2016
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Regulatory Agencies Exploit Unintended Consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Regulatory agencies have entered the space of copyright law and have tipped the balance of the intellectual property system. Now, it is somehow unclear that agency regulations designed to protect health, safety, and the environment have absolutely nothing to do with copyright law. As with many threats to the balance of intellectual property, Section 1201 is responsible for tipping the scale.

07/14/2016
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Blog

Where the Wild Things Aren’t: The Federal Government Claims Land Is “Critical Habitat” for a Species That Does Not Live There

In 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated 6,477 acres of private land in Mississippi and Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the dusky gopher frog, an endangered species. A critical habitat designation imposes a whole host of permitting restrictions on a selected property, significantly impairing the property rights of the owner. There was something that should seem odd about the decision, though: the frog only exists in Mississippi. The 1,544 acres in Louisiana included in the designation are not inhabited by the frog, and indeed the FWS’s own report describes the land as “poor quality terrestrial habitat for dusky gopher frogs.” But little things like facts and logic can’t be expected to halt the march of the regulators.

07/14/2016
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Congress Intensifies Battle Against Regulators As New Rules Grab Legislative Power

During a week in which regulators added $12.8 billion in costs, Congress intensified its battle against the regulatory state. This regulatory outburst comes as no surprise during Obama's final months in office. Earlier this month, regulators rushed to release a flood of regulations, hoping to enact new rules before the newly elected administration takes over.

05/31/2016
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Blog

CFPB Anti-Arbitration Rule Gives Millions to Class Action Lawyers, Leaves Consumers in the Dust

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hit a new low this month when they proposed a new rule that directly harms those that the CFPB was created to protect: the consumers. The proposed regulation would place severe restrictions on the use of arbitration in settling disputes, forcing consumer suits out of arbitration and into class action litigation. The studies and arguments the CFPB attempted to use in the proposal indicate that the CFPB is aware that it is harming consumers while padding the pockets of class action attorneys.

05/18/2016

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