This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In recent months, many aspects of our society have been assaulted by significant changes to the regulations that protect our families from harmful chemicals in products and pollution in the environment.
A new bill that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently in the U.S. Senate would continue this assault.
H.R.5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, should raise many concerns about the impact of this bill. My interpretation of the provisions contained in H.R.5 leads me to group my concerns in three general areas.
H.R.5 would protect industry, not the public. I do not believe that the best regulatory option is the one that is best for industry. I believe the best regulatory option is the one that protects the health and well-being of my family. Rather than balancing the costs and benefits of health and safety protections, the Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies would be required to choose the cheapest option that is available to industry.
H.R.5 would further complicate bureaucratic procedures. It would require agencies to waste taxpayer dollars examining alternatives and speculating on indirect costs. Any industry could, under this bill, demand that agencies conduct costly hearings on rules they do not agree with. The impact on time to implement and the resulting waste of taxpayer dollars could be significant.
H.R.5 would put politics above science. Under this bill White House political appointees would be allowed to place political decisions on health and safety regulations above those of scientists in the EPA, Consumer Safety Commission and other knowledgeable federal agencies.
I believe that protecting our families from unsafe food, dirty water and air, dangerous toys, toxic chemicals and other unsafe impacts must take precedent over any industry concerns.