Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, was ready to combat the job-killing rhetoric. In her opening statement to a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee, she quoted a UMass Amherst study that found that the construction and retrofitting investments in the eastern US under two new EPA air quality rules would produce nearly 1.5 million jobs over the next five years. The rules limit the emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, lead, dioxin, arsenic, and other pollutants. She said the EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act, even in the last year of a Republican Bush administration loath to admit to the dangers of global warming, “contributed to dynamic growth in the US environmental technologies industry and its workforce.’’
Let's start with the author of this study: UMass-Amherst. If any study by "Big Business" is suspect, then I argue any study by "Big Education" and especially this one by "Big Leftist Education" is also suspect.
According to the study's author,
“You are talking about an intense infusion of new capital for construction and installation and direct jobs for [people making] boilers, pollution control technologies, scrubbers, and component parts,’’ he said. “The indirect jobs are the kind created that when you install a natural gas-fired generator’’ which includes components made at factories across the country.
Pollution control technologies for NOx and sulfur pollution control already exist. No new jobs from that. In fact, with the reduction in coal-fired power plants due to these rules, there will be a net job loss. In addition, natural gas-fired plants also emit CO2 in abundance. It is first, unlikely new plants will be built under the new CO2 rules and second, construction jobs and those for the making of boilers and other equipment will be short lived. Oh...we don't build large boilers so much in this country. Gemany, India, China and Japan, mostly although Babcock-Borsig and ABB have subsidiaries here. The EPA put many others out of business. In addition, these new EPA rules do not just apply to "Big Energy". They apply to all businesses. Look at the applicable NAICS codes in the rules and you will find few who are exempt. Interestingly enough, the threshold for Hazardous Air Pollutants is 10 tons per year, but CO2, which has been declared a HAP only applies to those industries emitting over 25,000 tons per year. (Humans exhale about 1 lb of CO2 per person per day, or close to 1/4 ton per year.)
Permanent jobs will be few compared to those which will be lost. A coal fire power plant requires several times the number of employees as a gas-fired plants. The coal handling equipment alone requires many to operate. More auxiliary systems are required as well. Dependent on the type of gas-fired plant, it can be run by as few as three operators for a 500 MW operation as opposed to 30 for coal (yes, I can prove that).
One letter was from the US Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s top lobbyist and the group President Obama sought to mollify in a speech this week. Citing the new air pollution rules as an example, the letter said EPA rules “ensnare multiple industry sectors and have economy-wide costs usually measuring in billions or even trillions of dollars . . . the cumulative impact can be overwhelming. The result: industries are effectively regulated out of business.’’
Studies such as the one from UMass state the opposite. Heintz said his job estimates were based on “a strong stance and aggressive enforcement’’ by the EPA and “serious compliance’’ by industry. A strong stance means Obama and Jackson cannot back down on regulations during this Republican fury. We would be regulating ourselves not just to a healthier environment but a brighter economic future.
As someone who has EPA compliance experience, I can tell you for absolute certain that the Chamber is correct and UMass is not. As I stated above, look at the NAICS code sectors required to meet the regulations. It's very clear. I cannot imagine how "a strong stance and aggressive enforcement" by EPA will result in more jobs, unless they are jobs in EPA and those business has to hire to ensure compliance. Those jobs are "overhead" and do not contribute to the bottom line.
The article is full of flaws and the Administration is just plain lying about this. Defund EPA.