Entries in Regulations (2)


FCC Passes Rules to End Loud Commercials

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Pretty soon there'll be no need to reach for the volume-control button on the remote the next time a commercial interrupts a favorite TV show.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved new rules that require cable and broadcast stations to play commercials at the same volume as the TV shows they break into.

The new FCC order is a step in carrying out the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM Act, which President Obama signed in 2010. The CALM Act required television stations to turn down the volume on disruptively loud ads.

Come December 2012, when the CALM Act takes effect, those commercials that blare at a much louder volume than the shows will be history.

The act requires television stations to maintain the same average volume for both programming and ads, so consumers don't have to adjust the levels at each commercial break.

Members of the commission praised the act for addressing a problem that had plagued consumers for decades.

The CALM Act requires stations to buy equipment that regulates these sound levels, ensuring the mean volume of the advertisements is no louder than that of the programming. It will be regulated with different check systems, depending on a station's size.

William Lake, chief of the FCC's Media Bureau, pointed out that such regulations had not been possible in the past because of limitations on analog television.

Televisions across the country switched to digital signals in June 2009.

The original CALM act signed last December gave the FCC the power to grant a one-year exemption to those stations that show they would incur "financial hardship" if forced to comply with these standards. After that time, they can apply to renew that exemption for another year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Tells EPA to Ditch New Ozone Regulations

EPA(LOS ANGELES) -- Just days after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced the House would begin voting to repeal proposed air quality regulations that he said would prevent job growth, President Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposed ozone regulations.

"I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover," Obama said in a statement.

Obama said the standards are already being revised and would have to be updated again in 2013.

"Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered," Obama said in the statement.

In a jobs agenda memo to House Republicans, Cantor said the proposed ozone regulations would be "possibly the most harmful of all the currently anticipated Obama administration regulations" and would cost at least $1 trillion over a decade to implement. The EPA estimates that the public health benefits from the regulations could save up to $100 billion per year. But critics say the restrictions would cost employers dearly.

Besides small business tax breaks, Cantor's plan to ignite job growth was focused entirely on preventing new federal regulations from taking effect. All but three of the 10 regulations Cantor targeted are Environmental Protection Agency rules geared toward limiting power plant emissions.

"By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more workers," Cantor, R-Va., wrote in the memo to House Republicans.

But EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson wrote Wednesday in a Huffington Post Op-ed that delaying the implementation of the proposed standards would "leave companies uncertain about investing" and prevent them from creating more jobs.

Cantor claims the regulations are "costly bureaucratic handcuffs" and will destroy millions of jobs. Under his plan the House will vote each week to roll back regulations on everything from more stringent ozone standards to coal ash emissions, a by-product of coal-burning power plants.

An EPA official said the agency has been implementing regulations like these since its inception in 1970, both when the economy was booming and when it was lagging.

"The EPA's regulations have had nothing to do with the current economic recovery that we're in," the EPA official maintains. "We've been doing this for 40 years. The bottom line is the economy continues to grow in the United States while we continue to do environmental control in the United States."

Some scientists claim that environmental regulation does not kill jobs because stricter standards spur innovation, which in turn creates jobs. Critics maintain that since the restrictions cost more to implement, following them in turn means less money for hiring employees in a time in which the country needs jobs the most.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio