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Business Review Board / Oct. 3, 2017

Trump's Record Pace on Deregulation

Among other rollbacks, Energy Secretary Rick Perry works to protect Americans' access to reliable electricity.

Donald Trump is on a record pace. If he continues at this rate he will surpass the great deregulator himself, Ronald Reagan. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), Trump has issued 58% fewer regulations than did Barack Obama, and he has cut down the Federal Register by 32%. Trump’s commitment to cut two regulations for every new one has saved Americans $560 million. CEI Vice President Clyde Wayne Crews said, “It took a few years for Ronald Reagan to achieve his ultimate, one-third reduction in Federal Register pages following Jimmy Carter’s then-record Federal Register. So by this metric, Trump is moving much faster.” Trump also has presented the lowest number of big rules for a first-year president since George H. W. Bush.

Still, Trump is facing a mammoth regulatory state that ballooned under eight years of Obama. In 2016 alone, the Obama administration issued more than 2,600 new rules, including 54 major regulations, costing Americans $14.7 billion annually. The Heritage Foundation estimates that the overall cost of regulations created by Obama costs the country $112 billion annually. In other words, Trump still has a long way to go.

In that vein, Energy Secretary Rick Perry is stepping to the plate. Environmental regulations are some of the most onerous of them all, and Obama particularly enjoyed “saving the planet” by tightening the screws on all Americans. Perry is acting to mitigate the impact upon the energy sector. Last Friday, Perry announced plans to provide loans helping two nuclear power plants proceed with construction, as well as a move to redefine how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for the electricity they produce. Perry stated, “I believe the future of nuclear energy in the United States is bright and I look forward to expanding American leadership in innovative nuclear technologies.” He also said that the nuclear plant construction would provide 6,000 construction jobs as well as 800 permanent plant jobs. Not to mention cheaper electricity for consumers.

Perry’s announcement was welcomed by Matt Crozat of the Nuclear Energy Institute, who said, “What’s most significant about this is that we’ve been working on these issues for the better part of the last three-plus years … and what the secretary has done is said, ‘Enough talk, we need to actually act.’ And so what this is going to do is drive to some conclusion what a policy action is going to be.”

Perry is concerned with protecting “the American people from the threat of energy outages that could result from the loss of traditional base-load capacity.” Over-regulation doesn’t merely cost Americans more money, it threatens their standard of living and even their livelihood.

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