I came across two recent articles that touch upon the ever-increasing size of the challenge businesses face when it comes to regulation. It’s interesting to see the size of the regulatory apparatus compared to private enterprise:
“If the federal government’s regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald’s, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined.” — Investors Business Daily
How does this work in action? Here’s one specific project involving a 682-mile pipeline Stretching underground from Opal, Wyoming to Malin, Oregon:
In this case the environmental impact statement was a binding agreement between the government and El Paso about how the Ruby project would proceed. It contained detailed instructions for everything from rights-of-way; to “critical habitat” for the blackfooted ferret and Ute ladies’ tresses (a type of orchid); to housing regulations about when the project’s 5,290 workers would stay in campers or area motels; to paleontology rules. After two and half years, and more than 125 “stakeholder” meetings and agency “scoping” hearings, El Paso received the final sign-off in July 2010.
Did we say paleontology rules? Yes, at the height of construction, El Paso had 215 archeologists in the field “to mitigate affects to cultural resources,” as required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.” —WSJ
Regulatory compliance with PSM and RMP is challenging, but they are hardly the most difficult regulatory challenges facing business today!