James Lankford

There must be something in the water coolers on the other side of the aisle. Earlier this year, at an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing concerning reducing regulations, a Democrat colleague expressed his “concern” over reducing the regulation on business and stated boldly that increased regulation on businesses creates jobs in America. According to his logic, more regulation creates more requirements for businesses to hire compliance officers to oversee the regulations imposed upon them by government; therefore the government creates more jobs. At first, I thought he was joking, but he was serious. I later asked the witnesses at the hearing if they would rather hire more employees that produce goods and services or hire more compliance officers. You can well imagine their response.

In my home state of Oklahoma, we are dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency  changing their rules and again demanding millions of dollars for new modifications for power generating facilities. I am certain that these compliance jobs will be called “green jobs” by Washington when they are hired and when more Oklahoma capital is wasted. Even worse, our state put forth a sound plan to address all the new EPA guidelines, but that plan was rejected by the EPA in favor of a plan that only makes sense to Washington. Arecently released study shows that the EPA’s new “clean-air rules” placed on utilities will increase costs by $17.8 billion annually and raise electricity rates for consumers by 11.8%. Those same rules forced the closing or partial closing of eleven power plants of an Ohio-based power company.  Thanks to additional regulations, rates will go up again.


James Lankford

Rep. James Lankford represents Oklahoma's 5th congressional district and serves on the House Budget Committee.