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Louisiana business advocates like Trump’s order to slash regulations


January 30, 2017
By Sam Karlin
Originally Posted on Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Louisiana business groups today applauded a broad new executive order by President Donald Trump’s that is expected to cut federal regulations.

The order requires federal agencies to roll back two regulations for each new regulation implemented, and sets a cap for the cost of regulations for the rest of the fiscal year, as Reuters reports.

“There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be normalized control,” Trump said while signing the order today.

National Federation of Independent Business State Director Dawn Starns says she expects Louisiana business owners to consider the move a good sign from the Trump administration.

“We are eager to learn more about the president’s plans on the implementation,” Starns says. “But we know that regulations stifle growth and job creation … Let Louisiana business owners follow the law and do what they do without extra burdens of compliance to hurdle.”

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry says it supports the signing of the executive order. The executive order, LABI says, reverses a regulation system that’s “grown out of control” in recent years and overly burdensome for companies of all sizes.

“This type of action is long overdue,” LABI CEO and President Stephen Waguespack says in a prepared statement. “The simple fact is that employers on a daily basis face stringent regulations and mandates from Washington, D.C., that severely hinder their ability to compete in the market. This new policy will hopefully begin to bring some sanity back to federal agencies and lead to a less onerous environment for Louisiana job creators.”

But LSU Economics Professor James Richardson says Trump’s move works better as a general statement about regulations than a practical policy move. It remains unclear how federal officials will choose which regulations to cut, and new regulations will likely be on the way with changes to health care, taxes and infrastructure policy.

“I think you have to be careful as you make out these broad statements like this,” Richardson says. “There are a lot of regulations that maybe we can do away with, but I think we should look at that separately.”

Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Gifford Briggs says oil and gas companies have been burdened by the “oppression of regulation” in years past, but adds he’s not yet sure how Trump’s executive order will impact the industry.

“I don’t know if there’s going to be a material impact,” Briggs says. “But I think it further signals that maybe help is on the way.”

Briggs says he is optimistic about a businessman occupying the White House, especially one that is in favor of investing in oil and gas drilling.

Richardson notes several regulations were imposed on the oil and gas industry after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but cautions against blanket policies that roll back wide swaths of regulations without first evaluating the merits of each one.

Trump campaigned on a platform of dramatically rolling back regulations. Last week, the president told a group of business leaders he believes his administration can cut regulations by 75%.