About Clean Air and Water Regulations, Business Says One Thing to Legislators, Another to Investors

Businesses are saying one thing to legislators and another to investors concerning clean air and clean water regulations.

An Associated Press report examined the testimony given by large and small companies before Congress and compared it to reports submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by those same companies. In many cases, the statements contradict each other.

Excessive regulation by the government has been a hot topic on the political circuit and will likely continue to be discussed during the election campaigns. Republicans have submitted numerous bills in the last few years trying to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its powers.

In some cases, the Obama administration has backed off of needed pollution restrictions, such as regulations to reduce toxic pollution from boilers and incinerators.

From the report:

James Rubright, CEO of Rock-Tenn Co., a Norcross, Ga.-based producer of corrugated-and-consumer packaging, told a House panel in September that a variety of EPA, job safety and chemical security regulations would require “significant capital investment” — money that “otherwise go to growth in manufacturing capacity and the attendant production of jobs.”

But a month before his testimony— and three months after EPA withdrew its boiler proposal — Rock-Tenn told the SEC that “future compliance with these environmental laws and regulations will not have a material adverse effect on our results or operations, financial condition or cash flows.”

Interesting. It doesn’t build confidence in a company when it claims it’s barely staying together, then turns around and asks investors for money, saying everything is roses. I read in the newspaper that businesses keep complaining no one will invest. Perhaps this has something to do with it.

Image of oil polluted water by pwbaker, used with Creative Commons license.

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Author: Heather Carr


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