(Bloomberg News) American businesses have a common enemy: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
ConocoPhillips, Boeing Co. and the National Association of Manufacturers are among 201 companies and industry groups that responded to Representative Darrell Issa's request to identify government rules his U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee should investigate. Of the 111 regulations they cited, 57 were issued by the EPA.
Rules to tighten ozone standards would "have far-reaching effects on the economy and jobs," ConocoPhillips, the third- largest U.S. oil company, said in a list of more than two-dozen rules. Refinery projects are being delayed because of "prolonged uncertainty on emission-control technologies and work practice requirements," said the Houston-based company, whose shares are up almost 49% over the last year.
Issa, who became chairman of the committee last month, plans today to release a report based on the letters he requested in December. According to copies obtained by Bloomberg, among the rules they complained about were pesticide permits, air-pollution standards, the Wall Street regulatory overhaul and a proposed Energy Department rule that aims to conserve water by restricting use of multi-head shower fixtures.
Last month, President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for a government-wide review of regulations. Issa, who has accused the administration of ignoring business concerns, said in an e-mail last week he isn't offering "judgments or recommendations."
The effort is "meant to complement what the president has ordered and should be a starting point for a broader discussion," said Issa, 57, a California Republican.
Democrats and consumer-advocacy groups say they are troubled that Issa didn't ask consumer groups about the benefits of regulations, in particular those regarding air quality or food and product safety.
"Mr. Issa says we're just interested in finding out which regulations are problematic for business, but they're not interested in finding out how they help save Americans' lives and health," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella said the committee has asked on a Web site it created for input on where Washington "helps or hurts" with regard to regulations.