While Congress remains stymied, new policies with ramifications for many businesses are still being rolled out. Government agencies like the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, to name a few, are releasing new rules and regulations, often with aggressive goals in mind.
“The regulators are totally out of control,” said Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), during a special event as part of the 2015 NMHC Board of Directors and Advisory Committee Fall Meeting.
For the multifamily industry, some of the most controversial new regulations are focused on energy and environmental policies. During the same event, Congresswoman Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told members, “We are continuing work to reign in the EPA. When you look at the duplicative rules coming out of EPA and DOE, we understand the need to sort of wrangle them.”
Some lawmakers are particularly concerned with the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, which significantly expands the definition of protected waters and creates additional hurdles for land owners and developers. “Under the new rule, 95 percent of the land mass in Missouri would be under the jurisdiction of the EPA,” lamented Blunt.
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) echoed similar sentiments about the increasing complexity of the regulatory environment. “I’m not a disbeliever in regulation,” he said. “Like a football game, you need sidelines. But you let the players on the field decide who wins and who loses. The Obama administration is trying to pick the winners and losers.”