The Environmental Protection Agency says it will need 230,000 new bureaucrats to implement proposed greenhouse gas regulations. The EPA itself has admitted it will be "impossible to administer" the regs by the 2016 deadline, but that isn't stopping them. Fortunately, their authority to move forward is being challenged by petitioners who say this decision should be made by Congress, not by the EPA. The cost of all this is being billed at $21 billion, which doesn't include the economic cost of the regulations themselves.
New EPA regulations would require 230,000 new bureaucrats to administer
The president has found a way to add jobs, after all — 230,000 of ‘em, all within the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s the number of new bureaucrats the federal government will need to hire to implement new proposed greenhouse gas regulations, according to a report by The Daily Caller:
The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.
The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.
The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.
Keep in mind that the $21 billion figure doesn’t include the economic cost of the regulations themselves.
Is it fair to criticize the president for the type of job these bureaucratic open positions would offer? Well, sure — the left constantly says Texas’ McJobs don’t count. These paper-pushing jobs grow the administrative state and come at a high cost to taxpayers. They burden the economy rather than add value to it.
But public-sector jobs seem to be the only kind of jobs the president knows how to create. From the beginning of the recession in January 2008 to the middle of 2010, for example, the private sector lost some 7.9 million jobs, while the public sector gained 590,000 jobs. From the passage of the stimulus bill in February 2009 to the middle of 2010, the private sector lost more than 2.6 million jobs, while the government workforce grew by 400,000.
In case the president does care to create more private-sector jobs (and my fingers are almost numb from typing this solution repeatedly), he might consider opening up the Gulf. According to the Consumer Energy Alliance, increasing the pace of permit approvals for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico would create 23,000 new jobs in virtually every state in the country, bolster GDP by $44 billion and generate nearly $12 billion in revenue to state and federal treasuries. From drilling products producers to truck drivers, from tug boat operators to farmers, Americans across the country stand to benefit from this ever-so-simple solution.
P.S. This is only tangentially related, but I’m still so annoyed by it that I have to squeeze it into some post somewhere. In case you missed it, the Obama administration banned over-the-counter asthma inhalers because of environmental concerns. Like regulations that require hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats to administer (or, more popularly, the light bulb ban), this inhaler ban is yet another example of a type of environmentalism that becomes so pervasive as to be lifestyle control — i.e. it’s yet another example of environmentalism run amok.
Congress Needs to Put the Brakes on the EPA Train Wreck
by Rep. Fred Upton
President Obama has sent his proposed $447 billion spending bill to Congress, which he promises will revive our economy from its chronic state of sedation. The President pledged that his new jobs plan “will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services.”
Regulations Stifle Job Growth
Yet, while the President continues to preach job creation, his administration continues to prevent it with a regulatory agenda that stifles growth and puts millions of jobs in jeopardy. Regulations that are unnecessary, poorly structured and overly burdensome leave businesses and investors stuck in a complex web of red tape.
EPA Considering 300 New Regs
President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is one of the biggest job-destroying offenders in his administration. Today, the agency has more than 300 regulatory actions under consideration and it continues to issue new rules at an unprecedented pace. This includes the agency’s Utility MACT Rule, estimated by the agency to impose new compliance costs of $10.9 billion annually and EPA’s notorious greenhouse gas regulations, estimated to eliminate as many as 1.4 million jobs by 2014.
The President’s promise to restore market confidence stands in contrast to the maze of uncertainty created by the policies of his own administration. Companies have been forced to lay off workers and stall expansion plans due to EPA’s complex set of new rules. The first and most logical step to restore economic confidence is to reduce this uncertainty. With so many looming threats, investors will continue to hold their capital and refrain from investing.
President Obama acknowledged the chilling effect regulations can have on economic growth when he called on the EPA to stand down on its plans to revisit the 2008 ozone standards—a plan the agency itself projected would impose annual costs of as much as $90 billion. While I appreciate this recent concession, the ozone rule is just the tip of the regulatory iceberg. If the President is really serious about job creation he must do much more to rein in EPA’s overreach.
I do not buy into the notion that we must sacrifice jobs for clean air. I believe regulations are necessary to protect public health and the environment, but they must be administered in a way that does not inflict undue harm on American families and job creators. Given our economy’s anemic state, it is now more important than ever that we carefully consider the long-term benefits and costs of federal regulation.
Series of House Votes
Kicking off a series of votes this fall that will put the brakes on EPA's regulatory train wreck, the House will vote this week on legislation dubbed the TRAIN Act, which will require an interagency committee to study the cumulative impacts of major EPA rules on our economy and jobs. Included in the analysis are several EPA rules identified by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on a list of President Obama’s top ten job-killing regulations. Each of these rules separately holds a hefty price tag, but the total cost to our economy remains unknown.
The EPA tries to paint each of its complex rules as a stand-alone measure with burdens our economy can absorb, but job creators know better. Regulations do not exist in a vacuum. Industries are not faced with just a single rule; they are forced to comply with layers and layers of them. Before those rules take effect, we must fully understand the consequences for our economy. The TRAIN act will provide for an honest accounting of EPA’s rules.
America’s job creators are desperate for regulatory relief and House Republicans are taking action to respond to their concerns. The Energy and Commerce Committee has passed numerous pieces of legislation designed to both create and protect jobs. Taken together, these bills will rescue nearly four million jobs put at risk by the Obama Administration’s regulatory regime while at the same time creating over 150,000 new jobs.
President Obama has promised job creation before, but he has yet to deliver anything more than spools of red tape. At the very least, we must call on the President to put the breaks on regulation before even more jobs become casualties of EPA’s regulatory train wreck.
Congressman Fred Upton is the representative for Michigan's 6th District. Prior to his election to Congress in 1986, Fred worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget.
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