Jousting matches between U.S. industry and government over business regulations have been going on for decades. This week’s U.S. Court of Appeals rejection of an EPA ruling on cross-state air emissions is just the latest scrimmage.

Environmentalists say the EPA rule was necessary for public health; manufacturers counter that it would have killed jobs.

Industry has the advantage in that issue for now, but a new study from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation shows that Uncle Sam has been winning way more than its share of the argument over the last 20 years.

For example:

  • During President Bill Clinton’s tenure, the feds issued an average of 36 major regulations on manufacturers, says the Alliance.
  • That pace increased to 45 per year under President George W. Bush
  • Now, the Obama administration is cooking up an average of 72 regulations on manufacturers per year.

Those are numbers with real economic consequences. Says the Alliance, regulations on U.S. manufacturing could reduce output by as much as $500 billion this year.

What’s more, manufacturing exports this year could be as much as 17% lower than they would be without the added regulatory burdens. And as we know in Connecticut, exports have been one of the only bright spots in the state's recent economic performance.

We’ve talked about how Connecticut manufacturing is a big key to our state’s economic recovery.

The question is will federal and state policymakers apply sufficient wisdom in rule-making to let manufacturers drive our economy--as we also work in commonsense ways to ensure that our people and environment are sufficiently protected?