Complying with EPA regulations alone costs American taxpayers $353 billion every year, the most of any government agency, according to a new paper, the Regulatory Report Card, just released by Competitive Enterprise Institute. It found:
The cost of EPA regulations is on par with the entire 2011 GDPs of Denmark ($332 billion), Thailand ($345 billion), and the United Arab Emirates ($360 billion). The EPA is historically one of the most active rulemaking agencies. From 1999 to 2011, the agency published a total of 4,995 rules in the “Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions,” which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation.6 It published even more final rules in the Federal Register over the same period, 7,161 in all. This may indicate a transparency problem, as more than 2,000 rules were finalized without first appearing in the Unified Agenda…
The EPA is a federal agency, but many of its regulations affect state and local governments. Of the 318 EPA rules currently in the pipeline, 67 of them affect state governments, and 47 of them affect local governments…. There are currently 21 economically significant EPA regulations in various stages of the pipeline. Of these 21 economically significant rules, cost estimates are available for 11 of them. The total estimated annual cost of these 11 economically significant rules ranges from $19.848 billion to $24.238 billion.11 The average cost per rule ranges from $1.98 billion to $2.42 billion. It will be some time before the remaining rules progress far enough through the pipeline to release their estimated costs.
The Report Card goes on to describe the most onerous EPA rules it believes deserve more scrutiny from the public. The agency with the second most costly regulations was Health and Human Services, at $184.8 billion a year.