President Barack Obama in a recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed extols the virtues of regulatory reform. He opines that: “Sometimes …..rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business — burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.” The President signed an executive order that he says, “requires federal agencies protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth.”

If President Obama is serious about regulatory reform that promotes economic growth that would drive down the nation’s unacceptable unemployment rate, he needs to order the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately cease and desist on an array of rulemakings that amount to a war on energy. The EPA is in the process of regulating CO2 emissions from factories and utilities, classifying coal fly ash as a hazardous waste, drastically lowering smog standards, and placing stringent emission requirements on industrial boilers that power manufacturing facilities and utilities. Proposed EPA rulemaking will not promote economic growth but instead drive up the cost of energy which will result in the loss of more jobs to China and other countries.

Excessive regulatory requirements are strangling economic recovery in Michigan and throughout the country – thus it has become fashionable for politicians to talk about the need for regulatory reform. The problem is that the talk seldom leads to much regulatory relief but instead regulatory requirements continue to increase.

Tonight in his first State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder has an opportunity to lay out specific proposals on how to reform Michigan’s oppressive regulatory regime. Let’s hope we see real regulatory reform from Michigan leaders and not just more talk.