Washington bureaucrats have a message for you: no cell phones while driving, period. Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) “called on the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use” of cell phones. Right now, this remains a state issue, but the power of the federal government looms large.
Just look at what Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said this morning on MSNBC:
Have you ever driven along a dirt road? Ever tracked dirt into the house or dusted? Of course you have, because dirt is a naturally occurring entity which is found everywhere. And, apparently, according to the EPA, it’s making us sick, and therefore needs to be regulated.
We’ve heard of some ridiculous regulations before (see: over the counter asthma inhalers), but this is somewhere near the top of the list. The EPA is trying to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) relating to “coarse particulate matter.” You may have heard of it, it’s called dust. The EPA currently regulates such matter as soot, but now they want to change that to include dust, like what you’d find walking in the woods or just about anywhere else.
Farmers would be most hurt by this regulation. They already try to control their dust with some well-developed practices, but it is difficult what with those darn crops not cooperating. As with most of their ridiculous regulations, the EPA believes it has the right to control dust by loosely reading the Clean Air Act. And, just like most of their regulations, science isn’t exactly on their side. Their own assessment shows there is uncertainty as to whether more regulation is needed. By why let a little thing like science get in their way?
Dan Holler, our Communications Director, has a new column up on Townhall about how the federal government is regulating businesses; forcing them to shut their doors. He focuses on the cigar industry, which is about to get hit with massive regulations that threaten to decimate the industry and cost tens of thousands of private sector jobs:
“Those absurd regulations exist today in Canada, and some groups are pushing the FDA to follow that model, which would put premium cigar companies out of business, period. Just two years ago, Hav-A-Tampa closed its doors – doors that first opened in 1902 – and the city of Tampa saw nearly 500 jobs disappear because Congress increased taxes on cigars by 700% to pay for an unrelated health problem.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is at it again!
On April 27, 2011, the EPA put forward a rule that would lead to a massive expansion of their ability to regulate businesses and individuals. This intrusion comes in the form of a seemingly simple redefinition of a phrase, but that definition has massive implications.
The EPA has decided to expand its definition of “navigable waters” in the new rule. It would subject countless new waterways to their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CAA) creating a massive barrier to economic development and activity in these areas.