Obama ignores crippling EPA reg during speech on the economy

President touts economy across the street from heavily regulated manufacturer

President Obama spoke on the economy Wednesday within walking distance of a manufacturing plant that faces a potentially crippling Environmental Protection Agency regulation.

The Daimler Truck North America plant in Mount Holly, N.C., where Obama spoke, is less than a mile from a manufacturing facility operated by the National Gypsum Company that is subject to strict environmental rules under the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, a program that imposes hundreds of millions of dollars in administrative costs on businesses across the country.

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Obama’s remarks did not mention the myriad new regulations his administration, through the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has imposed on the Tar Heel State.

Based on the EPA’s own estimates, analysts at the American Action Forum (AAF) estimate that five major rules from the EPA and HHS will cost the state nearly $700 million to comply.

The EPA’s new Utility MACT rule, for instance, is projected to cost the state more than $230 million alone, according to the agency’s own estimates.

"President Obama loves to travel to battleground states, but he’ll never be able to run from his regulatory record," AAF Director of Regulatory Policy Sam Batkins told the Washington Free Beacon.

Although the National Gypsum Company did not return the Free Beacon’s requests for comment, the company outlined its recent financial struggles in a Sept. 30, 2011 letter to its customers (pdf).

"Our business has continued to endure the effects of an unprecedented housing market decline and a challenging economy," the letter states. "The outlook for the next 12 to 18 months might at best be described as a slow ‘climb out.’"

As a result, the company announced that it had "downsized and streamlined" operations, and would institute a 35 percent price increase on all wallboard products effective Jan. 1, 2012.