Tale Of The (Red) Tape
Bolling Brings Crusade Against Overregulation To The ’Burg
Posted: October 6, 2012
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (right) chats with (left to right) Classic Distribution Inc. President Chad McGlaughlin, InterChange sales rep Terry Cunningham and InterChange President Devon Anders during a tour of the InterChange facility on Friday. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling: “Probably the biggest challenge we have with Washington that’s just killing us is the regulations.”
But when those signs are visible from the interstate, the installation must be permitted by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
“It’s a cumbersome regulatory process,” said Runion, who also called the regulation “outdated.”
Runion was one of about 20 businesspeople gathered Friday just south of Harrisonburg at a warehouse for InterChange Group, a logistics and development company, to meet with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling during the first stop of his “Reduce Red Tape” tour.
Bolling said that stories like Runion’s are why he is on the tour, during which he said he hopes to learn how government regulations are hindering business growth or creation in Virginia.
“It is the purpose of the government to create an environment in which the private sector can create jobs,” said Bolling, who said regulations, especially at the federal level, can be harmful to job creation in the commonwealth.
“Are there things that state government is doing that are helping; are there things we are doing that are hurting?” he asked those gathered.
The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce invited members of the business community to the event, which also was attended by Del. Tony Wilt, R-Broadway, and Del. Richard “Dickie” Bell, R-Staunton.
Bolling, named by Gov. Bob McDonnell as Virginia’s “chief jobs creation officer,” gave several examples of how regulation can hurt job growth. Although the event was billed as emphasizing ways Virginia can help add jobs, Bolling talked at length about how federal policies and regulations, which state government has little or no control over, are hindering growth.
Specifically, he cited the Renewable Fuel Standard, or ethanol mandate, overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as hurting farmers.
This year’s severe drought in the Midwest and Great Plains has reduced corn yields nationally, causing many lawmakers, farmers and industry leaders to call for a temporary waiver from the mandate, which requires an increasing amount of corn to go toward ethanol production each year.
Supporters of the mandate say it is helping the nation become less dependent on foreign energy, but opponents say it drives up feed and food prices to the benefit of Corn Belt agricultural concerns while hurting other farmers and consumers.
“Probably the biggest challenge we have with Washington that’s just killing us is the regulations,” Bolling said. “We’re always very critical of the regulatory environment at the federal level, but what about Virginia?”
Several of those gathered cited state regulations that they say have led to additional costs for building projects, or were inconsistently enforced.
“This is exactly what we’re looking for,” Bolling said.
Bolling will host business round-tables similar to Friday’s in eight other locations across the state through October.
“When we’re done, we’ll put them all together to figure out which ones we can move forward with [for the] 2013 legislative agenda,” he said. “It really is a continuation of something we started back in the campaign of 2009. We really want emphasis to be on regulatory reform to find places where our red tape is making it hard for businesses to grow and expand.”
Contact Emily Sharrer at 574-6286 or firstname.lastname@example.org