Hurt No Friend Of Regulations

Posted by Kurt Feigel   // October 6, 2011   // Comments Off

Robert Hurt

Received via email from Robert Hurt:

Rep. Robert Hurt, R-5th District, makes no one guess how he feels about federal regulations and domestic energy production — two polarizing issues in Congress. Hurt has voted several times on legislation to reduce regulations and increase U.S. energy production since he has been in office. And he is becoming a champion on both causes.

Many of these types of legislation have passed the House of Representative, some of it with bipartisan efforts, but all have failed to go through the Democratically-controlled Senate.

Hurt is frustrated.

“We pass these bills and send them to the Senate and we get crickets,” said Hurt.

As he has traveled across the 5th District he said he has continually heard about the red tape federal regulations pose on businesses. One example he gave was a business owner who had 48 employees and wanted hire more and expand but did not want to expand because of the healthcare law which require businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide healthcare coverage or pay penalties.

Hurt uses this as an example of how anti-regulation legislation can encourage job growth. He referred to these regulations as “job killers.” Philosophically, he believes that the federal government should have less power and he has voted that way.

Are the regulations necessary? Hurt said people must take environmental cautions but the legislation being promoted is detrimental in its excessiveness.

“Every regulation has a cost,” said Hurt. “And we should ensure that the cost does not exceed the benefit.”

Hurt also argues that domestic energy production would have an enormous effect on job growth. But like the anti-regulation resolutions, Hurt’s supported bills on the matter have been passed in the House, but not the Senate.

If you open up new sources of domestic supply, there could be the potential for hundreds of thousands of jobs in the long term, Hurt argues.

“Energy bills are the most important,” said Hurt who believed President Barack Obama had a game-changing chance to do something about energy production by getting some of the bills for domestic energy production passed.

One of the most common complaints Hurt heard when visiting the district was about the high energy costs. He pointed out that many people could not even afford to get a full tank of gas and that the prices are a major hindrance to farmer’s and business owners.

It is hard to prove if the energy production would immediately affect job growth or not. But many local business owners see the direct effects of federal regulations.

Bruce Whitehurst, president of the Virginia Bankers Association, said that he often sees the effects of government regulations. The main reasons businesses are not growing are because of uncertainty over the debt crises and the regulatory environment.

“What I keep hearing is that there are a lot of EPA rules that affect businesses,” said Whitehurst. A lot of people were also concerned with the new regulations for health care, workplace safety and increased tax liabilities.

Whitehurst said that there is a great deal of reluctance for businesses to hire more people and a lot of them are choosing temporary employees instead, waiting out any changes.

Hurt understands this problem after his tours through the district, but tries to remain optimistic.

“I believe we can get through this mess,” Hurt said.

Kurt Feigel

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Kurt Feigel posted 335 articles on this blog.

Not new to politics. Kurt Feigel has been blogging and vlogging for over 3 years. Kurt is the Managing Editor of Red State Virginia. Read More by visiting the "contributors" link above and click Kurt Feigel




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  1. By els666, October 7, 2011

    Mr Hurt’s notion that decreasing regulation to allow more domestic energy production would lower energy costs is not proved.

    For example, the truest friends of regulation of domestic energy production are big energy corporations. They have contrived monopolies and use regulations to keep their monopolies. This is prima facie true by asking several questions: how many choices does your home have for connecting to the electricity grid? how easily and favorably could your home install electricity production – solar production, wind production, garbage/waste production, etc – and join the electricity grid to purchase only what you need and to sell your own produced excess energy produced to the power company? who has an interest in keeping things the ways they are: which is (virtually) NO CHOICE of ways to connect to the electricity grid? NO EASY AND FAVORABLE ABILITY to sell electricity to the grid?

    We believe that you’ll find the Mr Hurt takes lots of thousands of dollars from big energy corporations, who want regulations preserve their monopolies, their waste, and their anti-competitive practices, and their repression of authentic domestic – right from your own home – energy production.

    Prove me wrong, or respect the truth of Mr Hurt’s bogus political slogans about reducing your energy costs.

    • Kurt Feigel By Kurt Feigel, October 7, 2011

      ANY reduction in regulation helps with reducing our energy costs. UNLIKE Obama’s executive orders and EPA regulations that have been shutting down coal fired power plants all over the place. UNLIKE Obama who said “Under my plan energy prices would necessarily skyrocket”

      While you are correct there is no choice in the energy business that is not because of conservative or capitalistic ideas but of Democrat and Corporatist agendas favoring one company over another…another term for that is Fascism.

  2. By els666, October 7, 2011

    Unfortunately, you present no evidence for your point of view. Show us the documentation?

    Here, e.g. is documentation for my comments:

    From University of Richmond Law Review, 2009

    [ Note, the flawed legislation, that supported legislative favoritism to Dominion Resources, and other large energy utilities in Virginia – causing rise in consumer costs – was passed in Administration of REPUBLICAN Governor Jim Gilmore ! … so, your comment is, in this specific base, entirely false … the Corporatist/Governmental ‘Fascism’ – as you call it – was REPUBLICAN ]

    … the official energy policy of the Commonwealth to “[ensure] the availability of reliable energy at costs that are reasonable”[14] and to “promote the use of, renewable energy sources.”[15] One way these objectives can be pursued concurrently is through the implementation of a renewable energy portfolio standard (“RPS”).

    The restructuring plan, enacted in 1999, contemplated a ten-year period, beginning in 2001, in which Virginia’s electric energy market would be open to competition.[3] During that period, the State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) would continue to regulate the Commonwealth’s electric utility monopolies and electricity rates would be capped at preset levels.[4] This ten-year period of open markets and price stability was intended to entice new energy suppliers to enter Virginia’s energy market to compete with the traditional electric utilities. Evidencing the plan’s ambitious intentions, it permitted the Commission to lift the capped rates as early as 2004 for regions of the state where a fully competitive energy market had developed.[5] However, the capped rates were too low[6] and by late 2006—with the 2010 date looming when capped rates were to be lifted and Virginia’s energy market was to be fully competitive—no new energy companies were actively competing in the market.[7]

    Critics of the bill argue that it heavily favors the interests of Richmond-headquartered Dominion Resources,[10] one of the nation’s largest energy companies and the electricity provider for 80% of Virginians.[11] It is unsurprising that the changes are generous to Dominion given that the energy company initially proposed the regulatory scheme, which was passed by Virginia’s General Assembly with few amendments.[12]

    Electrical energy is a fungible commodity. To the end user, it makes no practical difference whether the particular electrons reaching her house or business came from a coal plant, a nuclear reactor, or a wind farm. Of importance to most customers is the price of that electricity. Where market conditions prevail, retail sellers will opt for the least expensive generation alternative. A well-designed RPS should embrace this basic economic principle and allow the market unfettered discretion to determine which sources of renewable energy are developed to satisfy the RPS targets.

    Virginia’s RPS is not well designed. Its goals are surreptitiously watered down so that state energy utilities can claim credit for largely illusory increases in environmentally friendly power production. State ratepayers will pay a steep price to afford utilities these accolades. Virginia should not reward energy companies for revenue-neutral actions that could be accomplished through the threat of penalties for noncompliance.

    Accordingly, the General Assembly should revisit the RPS to fix its many flaws

    [ Note, the flawed legislation, that supportS the favoritism to Dominion Resources, and other large energy utilities in Virginia – causing rise in consumer costs – was passed in Administration of REPUBLICAN Governor Jim Gilmore ! … so, you comment is, in this specific base, entirely false … the Corporatist/Governmental ‘Fascism’ – as you call it – was REPUBLICAN ]

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