OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Economic case for more regs?

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, where we were again snubbed on The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful List. Alas, we move forward, heads held high, with your daily rundown of Tuesday’s biggest regulatory and enforcement news — as well as a preview of tomorrow’s most compelling developing stories.

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Now, let’s talk about regs.



First look: Defenders of strengthened regulations are generally outgunned in Washington by well-heeled business groups that have united against the flood of “job killing” federal rules pouring out of federal agencies.

The left-leaning Center for Effective Government is seeking to turn that narrative on its head with a forthcoming report concluding that stronger health and safety protections have a major economic upside.

The study, to be unveiled in the morning, analyzes the benefits of ten proposed and final regulations from a variety of agency’s including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

— Why it matters:

1) The top line. Beyond concluding that the rules in question save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries and illnesses every year, the report finds net annual economic benefits totaling well over $100 billion (more details below). "Rulemaking is our democracy's way of balancing the interests of the public's safety and well-being with the profit-focused goals of the private sector,” said Ronald White, director of regulatory policy at CEG. The full report will be available here at 10 a.m.: http://j.mp/XaxyhR

2) The study comes on the heels of a report from the conservative-leaning American Action Forum that concluded that the Obama administration is preparing to issue a slate of major rules with an aggregate cost of $34 billion in the months immediately following this fall’s midterms. http://j.mp/1sZpSMk

3) It reflects the latest salvo in a raging fight over the proper role of federal regulators. Of late, the debate has centered on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA on Tuesday kicked off a week of hearings on the centerpiece of that plan: a rule to impose new greenhouse gas limits on the nation’s power plants. Groups on all sides of the fight are looking for all the ammunition they can get to make the case for, and against, the looming regulations.



Time is fast running out for Congress to act on legislation to address the flood of illegal immigrants pouring into the United States via the Southwest border. As of Wednesday, only two legislative days remain before the House and the Senate are scheduled to depart on a five-week summer recess.

President Obama is delivering a speech Wednesday on the economy in Kansas City.

The EPA heads into day two of a week of public hearings in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Denver and Washington focused on the power plant rule. http://j.mp/1nDzLfc

The House Science Committee and its chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), will weigh in on the issue with a hearing entitled: “EPA’s Carbon Plan: Failure by Design.” http://j.mp/1xdcZfB

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) will hold a press conference outside the Capitol to highlight the cost of the proposed EPA regulations on coal country.http://j.mp/1tL7pkt



The Obama administration will publish 148 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Highlights include:

-The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will pave a way for blueberries from Morocco to be sold in the U.S., by relaxing the import restrictions for farmers that follow a stringent set of rules.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will oversee the process to make sure Moroccan blueberries do not bring pests with them into the U.S.

"This action will allow the importation of blueberries from Morocco while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the United States," the agency wrote. http://j.mp/1tnH2Uj

-The Department of Homeland Security will step up its security procedures to better protect classified national security information. The new rules for government officials go into effect immediately. http://j.mp/1nYzTpL

-The Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs will delay a rule that would revise the guidelines used by federal officials to determine whether to recognize an Indian tribe. The agency is extending the comment period through Sept. 30. http://j.mp/1o9gAG7

-The Coast Guard will issue new rules for on-board lifesaving equipment, such as rescue boats and inflatable rafts that can be used in times of emergency. The changes align the agency's procedures with international standards. http://j.mp/1porQlV

-The Federal Reserve, Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will issue a new risk-based capital rule for banks and other financial institutions, intended to strengthen their reserves and prevent them from going out of business. http://j.mp/1oGmu6z



SCAMMING THE TROOPS: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is cracking down on lenders for "fleecing" thousands of U.S. military members with hidden charges for instant financing. Rome Finance has agreed to forgive $92 million in debt owed to it, because of deceptive marketing practices. http://j.mp/1AvJLwK

CLIMATE CHANGE COSTLY: A new report from the White House says climate change could be very costly. As the Environmental Protection Agency pushes a rule that would reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent, the report found that delayed action could lead to $150 billion annually in economic damages. http://j.mp/1rWTRD7

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM: Green groups are passing out ice cream outside the Environmental Protection Agency, in an effort to raise awareness about climate change. The ice cream campaign from the Climate Reality Project is called "I'm too hot." Tuesday, though, was one of the coolest days of the summer in Washington with highs in the 70s. http://j.mp/Xbuuly

MEAT LABELING: A federal appeals court has upheld the U.S. Department of Agriculture's controversial meat labeling rule, despite complaints from industry groups. http://j.mp/WM3CZA

ENDANGERED SPECIES BILL IN DANGER: The White House says it will veto a bill from House Republicans that it argues would roll back protections for endangered species. http://j.mp/WM43Dh

FRACKING: The Government Accountability Office says the Environmental Protection Agency should do more to protect the public and environment from the wastewater used in hydraulic fracturing. http://j.mp/Xbu52D

OBAMACARE has reduced the cost of prescription drug coverage for seniors and people with disabilities by as much as $11.5 billion since 2010, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). http://j.mp/1qJd114

BANKS: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other financial regulators are looking into the high-frequency trading activities of foreign banks, such as Germany's Deutsche Bank and Switzerland's UBS, according to Reuters. http://j.mp/UAb3Bn



10: Number of regulations analyzed for likely benefits in tomorrow’s report from the Center for Effective Government.

10,000: The estimated number American lives that would be saved annually by the proposed and final rules, according to the report.

300,000: Number cases of illnesses and injuries prevented very year.

$46 billion to $122 billion: Minimum economic benefit of the rules.



"Ice cream is bipartisan. Everyone loves ice cream. Everyone wants to cool down on a hot day with some ice cream. Obviously, it's a big draw." — Marshall Geck, from the Climate Reality Project, as he handed out ice cream to help raise awareness about climate change. http://j.mp/Xbuuly


We’ll endeavor to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, via bgoad@thehill.com or tdevaney@thehill.com. And follow us at @ben_goad and @timdevaney.

This story was updated at 9:16 a.m.