The Dangerous Force of Government Regulation

July 15th, 2013

In today’s political vernacular, governmental overregulation serves as a key phrase to the defense of conservative principles. Those who support greater regulation, particularly in the environmental realm, will say that there is nothing to fear as it will create growth and promote economic output.

While it is well understood that as a political philosophy, overregulation inherently restricts the natural mechanisms of a free-market economy, often times one may not see the force of the government in reality. However, recently in Ohio, the American Electric Power company was forced to shut down a coal plant, simply because the investment required to meet the extensive and demanding government regulations were too onerous to justify the costs.

The company agreed, in accordance with the federal government, that they would turn their plant into one that produces natural gas as opposed to coal. However, due to the regulations set forth by the federal government, the company decided it would be a more sound economic decision to retire the plant and accept the subsequent losses.

Stories such as these, in which the Environmental Protection Agency essentially bankrupts coal companies due to its requirements, are becoming more prevalent as time goes on. There is no better indication that certain government initiatives are not serving the American people then when it becomes more profitable to just quit.

This is simply not an economic environment that can promote growth or job creation. One has to consider how many more instances there will be in which companies choose quitting over complying, in the wake of an overreaching government.

These events should continue to serve as reminders that the idea of environmental overregulation isn’t just a facet of a political philosophy; it is a policy that impacts people and businesses alike.