Bob gets up for work and promptly leaves his apartment complex at 8:00 a.m. It’s an important day for Bob; he’s flying to Chicago to take an important client out to dinner. But as he’s leaving, he notices a handful of men inspecting his apartment complex. Puzzled and a bit concerned, he moves in for a closer look: It’s the Environmental Protection Agency.

Shrugging it off, he stops by work to pick up his briefcase and notices more EPA officials trolling around his office building. Not wanting to miss his flight, he shrugs them off again, assuming he’ll catch the scoop when he returns to the office.

Checking into the hotel, it’s the same deal. The EPA is conducting a full inspection of the hotel. Has the EPA taken over every building in the United States? Finally, he has the time to ask what all the commotion is. The EPA official responds by telling Bob that under the Clean Air Act’s prevention of significant deterioration program, the EPA is measuring building designs on a case-by-case basis to determine the level of carbon dioxide emitted from the building. Any building that emits more than 100 tons of greenhouse gases a year would be subject to a complicated and arduous permitting process.

And when Bob goes to take his client out to dinner? All right, you get the point. Under the EPA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), this program can become a reality. Small businesses, schools, restaurants and any building over 100,000 square feet will be subject to the EPA’s regulatory power.

This regulation would be unprecedented and disastrous. The EPA would literally have its nose in everyone’s business. Anyone that is a small business owner, restaurant owner, or even a residential home owner with a gas burner should take advantage of the EPA’s 120 comment period to suggest what this could do to their investments.