Lets add one more federal burden to beleagured manufacturers. At least, thats what iGPS,  a  manufacturer of plastic pallets is calling for. They want to see  federal standards to prevent fires from wooden pallets. They claim over 15 wooden pallet fires last year.
According to http://www.greatdreams.com/wildfires-2009.htm there were 32 000 widfire in the first 5 months of 2009. No call for congressional action that I can recall.
In my freshman economics class, my professor called  this sort of thing “rent seeking.” Here’s the Wikipedia version:
Rent seeking generally implies the extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to  productivity, such as by gaining control of land other pre-existing natural resources, or by imposing burdensome regulations or other government  decisions that may affect consumers or businesses.
We had lots of clever analysis and cool pictures here, but we’re taking them out to bring you this update:
This just in : Material Handling Management Magazine reports
“the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has officially abandoned all efforts to develop code enforcement guidance regarding fire safety and pallet composition.”
It  sent a letter   to Bob Moore, CEO of plastic pallet supplier iGPS, confirming that  the organization has permanently dropped all efforts to pursue the “controversial project.”
It also says, “NASFM does not recommend the use of wooden pallets over plastic pallets, nor does the association recommend the use of plastic pallets over wooden pallets,
Shuman wrote. “Any suggestion to the contrary in the draft documents (including a statement that consumers using plastic pallets should switch back to a wood pallet) does not represent NASFM’s position.”
Most interesting is the word used in the link for the letter as posted on MMH’s website. it captions the letter as “settlement.”
Careful reading of the letter gives us a story of  mystery, intrigue,  and possibly leaked or misused documents, litigation?  Who’d have thought the pallet business was so exciting?