By Shelby Mullis
INDIANAPOLIS — With a Hoosier connection to the White House, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is leveraging their Indiana ties.
The chamber submitted a list of regulations they want repealed by President Donald Trump’s administration, because they argue they are “detrimental” to Hoosier businesses.
Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said the list is an effort to urge Vice President Mike Pence to partner with Trump to repeal these rules and regulations advanced by former President Barack Obama’s administration over the last eight years.
“The federal administration just this year proposed 600 new regulations — not just 600 pages of regulations. That’s 600 separate regulations,” Brinegar said. “Over the last eight years, there have been thousands and it has served to stifle the rate of economic growth and stifle job growth.”
The featured priorities on the list include the Clean Power Plan, which the chamber said causes a “dramatic increase in energy prices for business and residential consumers with minimal improvement in air quality,” and orders that support Obamacare because they “perpetuate the higher cost of health care premiums for employers and their workers,” according to the chamber’s list.
“It was all too common for President Obama to circumvent Congress by issuing executive orders and to encourage federal agencies to overreach their authority and diminish economic growth,” Brinegar said. “We hope that scaling back and getting more thoughtful and realistic about these regulations will help jumpstart higher levels of economic growth and allow America to be more competitive in the global marketplace.”
But Jodi Perras called this “rolling back” effort made by the Indiana Chamber an attack on the environment. Perras manages Indiana and Kentucky’s Beyond Coal initiative through the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization.
“It’s very disappointing, but yet not very surprising,” Perras said. “[The Sierra Club’s] focus for the first 100 days and the next four years is going to be protecting our air and our water from attack from those who want to prioritize pollution over people.”
Perras is not alone. Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, said this effort to repeal these protections “is not a wise move.”
“The best performing states in our country are ones that do not see economic development and environmental protection as a trade-off, but rather as a complement that should simultaneously advance,” Kharbanda said.
The list does not solely revolve around environmental issues, but also includes regulations on healthcare, finance, health, workplace safety and technology.
Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.