President Biden has recently been called upon to rescind a newly-proposed rule that increases burdensome and costly greenhouse gas emissions requirements on small businesses competing for federal contracts.
Biden Urged to Cut Regulations on Small Businesses
The call comes from Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee, who wrote a detailed letter to the Biden Administration laying out the issues with the new rule. The letter explains that the additional financial burden that the new rule will place on small businesses is concerning at a time when such businesses are facing rising inflation and supply chain disruptions.
New Rule’s Impact on Small Businesses
The new rule was proposed in November last year by the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, which consists of the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
It would require federal contractors to disclose greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks. They would also need to set science-based targets to reduce emissions.
Senator Ernst didn’t hold back when commenting on the new rule via the SBC Senate website, saying: “In addition to being confusing, contradictory, and misaligned with existing longstanding federal contracting standards, the proposed rule will disproportionately harm small businesses, including and especially those small, disadvantaged businesses the Administration purports to support, and will result in broader, deleterious impacts to the small business industrial base, affecting our national security posture and national economy.”
New Rule’s Costs ‘Significantly Underestimated’
The concerns of Senator Ernst arise from the total estimated cost of the rule’s implementation for small businesses, which is estimated to total over $103 million in just the first year.
The continuing implementation of the rule beyond the first year would then likely cost over $62 million in subsequent years, though both this and the $103 million estimates are considered to be a ‘significant underestimation’ of the new rule’s total impact on small businesses.
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