Nominee for Worst Government PR Campaign: EPA

EPA Contest Seeks Videos Promoting Government Regulations (

President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging the public to create video advertisements that explain why federal regulations are “important to everyone.”

The contest, which ends May 17, will award $2,500 to the makers of the video that best explains why federal regulations are good and how ordinary citizens can become more involved in making regulations. The videos must be posted on YouTube and can be no more than 60-90 seconds in length.

In the current contest, each video must include the slogan “Let your voice be heard,” and it must direct viewers to the government’s regulatory website The winning video will then be used by the entire federal government to promote the regulatory process and enhance the public’s participation in it.

The site not only highlights the video contest, but has lots of other useful information. You’ll find a searchable database of all documents on their site. It’s possible to find out how many regulations there are about any subject.

I’ve always thought there was a plethora of federal regulations, but I had no way to quantify these regulations, until now. Here are some random keyword searches from the regulations site, and the resulting number of rule matches.

  • Windows (1303)
  • Dirt (145)
  • Hair (132)
  • Schools (2437)

But wait, there’s more! The site claims on its front page, “On average, federal agencies and departments issue nearly 8,000 regulations per year.'” The site also has newly posted regulations, and the numbers in there don’t match up with the front page.

For today–April 19th, 2010, 74 regulations were posted, and in the last year there were 23,867 regulations posted. Can you now see why the federal government needs your help? With roughly twenty-four thousand regulations in the last year, they need all the help they can get to thoroughly promote them!

The site also allows you to comment on rules, but only rules that are open to comments. In the 145 rules on dirt, only two are open for comment. I’d post a comment, but I’m fairly sure a comment thanking them for exposing just how bloated and overbearing such regulations are would not be appreciated.

Soon there will be other contests concerning government regulations, but they won’t be coming from the EPA. This video promotion is an easy setup for limited government people to hold contests of their own. How about a find things the government does not regulate contest? I tried searching for something not regulated, but even flatulence was mentioned in a proposed rule.

OscarHow about an award for worst government PR campaign? The EPA should at least be a nominee for that award.

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