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Week of 8 July 2024: The most important week in regulations and policy ever

Email Jim at jim.thompson@ipulpmedia.com

The last week of June this year may be the most important week in regulations and general policy in the last century.

First up, the US Supreme Court overturned the "Chevron deference" decision. Simply, non-elected agency regulators are not allowed to interpret legal statutes as to applicability of the law. The Court said, "...'agencies have no special competence in resolving statutory ambiguities. Courts do.' While courts can 'respect' agency regulation and expertise and look to it to inform them on technical issues, 'Congress expects courts to handle technical statutory questions.'"

It remains to be seen how this will affect regulations already in place and those proposed. However, it is sure to have a wide-ranging impact on not only environmental regulations but many others as well.

Second, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a rule issued by the EPA to reduce air pollution from power plants and other industrial facilities in 23 states. The temporary block will hold while the states' challenge proceeds in federal appeals court in Washington, DC.

Then, in a consumer driven initiative that only started on June 6th, Tractor Supply Company, in a statement issued on 27 June 2024, said,

"...Going forward, we will ensure our activities and giving tie directly to our business. For instance, this means we will:

  1. No longer submit data to the Human Rights Campaign
  2. Refocus our Team Member Engagement Groups on mentoring, networking and supporting the business
  3. Further focus on rural America priorities including ag education, animal welfare, veteran causes and being a good neighbor and stop sponsoring nonbusiness activities like pride festivals and voting campaigns
  4. Eliminate DEI roles and retire our current DEI goals while still ensuring a respectful environment
  5. Withdraw our carbon emission goals and focus on our land and water conservation efforts

We will continue to listen to our customers and Team Members. Your trust and confidence in us are of the utmost importance, and we don't take that lightly...."

We'll see if this effort leads to such turnabouts at other companies.

In another area, on Friday, 28 June 2024, the Wall Street Journal released a damning report on the World Economic Forum's "toxic work environment." How this will affect this organization going forward remains to be seen.

Then, just Sunday, 30 Jun 2024, France's first round of elections portends a strong swing to the right.

This was quickly followed by a prediction that the UK is making a sharp turn to the Left.

I'll reiterate that this writer does his best to report in an agnostic way on such political subjects. Taken as a whole, the last week of June 2024 is probably the most I have seen regulation and policy stances pivot in my lifetime.

I will also caution those of you that may be inferring certain positions from these issues that in all cases, the power of the consumer's purse will ultimately determine what companies do.

Be safe and we will talk next week.

________

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