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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

The Human Cost of Over-Regulation

March 3, 2009

House Chamber, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2009.  M. Speaker:  Sierra Pacific Industries just announced the closure of its sawmill in Quincy, California, throwing another 150 families out of work.

 They made it clear that the recession wasn’t the cause but merely the catalyst. The real cause is that their regulatory costs – and litigation because of regulation – now exceeds their profit margin.  Two thirds of their harvest is tied up as a result.

 Sierra Pacific constructed this small log-mill when the Congress passed legislation promoting tree-thinning in the surrounding forests to prevent forest fires.

 But that law has not been implemented because of endless litigation by environmental groups.  Sierra Pacific notes that (quote) “nearly two thirds of the current year’s timber sale program is enjoined or withheld from sale pending the outcome of litigation.”

 So today, another 150 families in the little town of Quincy are without work – direct casualties of a retrograde Luddite ideology that finds its power in the tangle of government laws that is destroying the enterprise and prosperity of our people.