This one is especially for Bob Montgomery. 😀
As we draw ever-closer to tomorrow’s Senate vote on the EPA’s Utility MACT rule, I wanted to bring to your attention a new report from the Senate Minority Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, which is chaired by Sen. (and Doctor) Barrasso. Long-documented is the fact that job-killing EPA regulations have served as constant artillery against an already struggling economy. The failed regulations and unnecessary government red tape stifle industry, put businesses on the ropes and send unemployment lines sprawling around city corners. Studies show that economic health, and personal finances are not the only matters such regulations endanger. No, not only is the EPA costing Americans jobs, but studies reveal that unemployment has a severely negative impact on personal health. It seems a cruel irony that EPA bureaucrats claim regulations are designed to boost personal health, yet they continually prove more harmful than the industries they regulate.
You can download the full report as a PDF file here. Below I’ve summarized the key findings:
REPORT FINDS EPA REGS, RESULTING UNEMPLOYMENT DETRIMENTAL TO PUBLIC HEALTH
President Obama, and his bureaucratic allies, have long claimed that EPA regulations are beneficial for the economy, safeguard jobs and protect Americans from “big business”. They even go as far as arguing that the stronger the EPA regulations, the better Americans’ personal health.
“President Obama’s Administration continues to claim that new EPA Clean Air Act regulations for ozone, greenhouse gases, electric utilities, domestic oil and gas producers, and manufacturers deliver significant economic benefits. Specifically, the agency says that these regulations will yield billions of dollars in benefits for the U.S. economy in the form of fewer premature deaths, sick days, hospital visits, cases of bronchitis, and heart attacks.”
The EPA itself uses language even stronger:
“The benefits of avoiding early death, preventing heart attacks and asthma attacks, and reducing the number of sick days for employees far exceed costs of implementing clean air protections. These benefits lead to a more productive workforce, and enable consumers and businesses to spend less on health care – all of which help strengthen the economy.”
Yet, for all their clamoring about keeping Americans healthy, the EPA pays no attention to the proven impact that unemployment has on personal health and well-being. One 1985 study concluded by saying:
“After unemployment, symptoms of somatization, depression, and anxiety were significantly greater in the unemployed than employed. [U]nemployed men made significantly more visits to their physicians, took more medications, and spent more days in bed sick than did employed individuals …unemployment had an adverse impact on psychological function, with the unemployed becoming more anxious, depressed, and concerned with bodily symptoms than those who continued to work.”
And a 1988 study: “Results from a community survey in a sample of high-unemployment census tracts … showed significant elevations of depression, anxiety, somatization [a chronic condition in which persons experience physical symptoms, but no physical symptoms can be found], and self-reported physical illness among the currently unemployed. Unemployment had health-damaging effects…severe enough to be considered clinically significant.”
19 years later, in 2006:
“Unemployment is strongly associated with mortality on the individual level.”
The significance of these studies is amplified when the fact that the EPA has, still, yet to properly respond, or acknowledge, the fact that their regulations add millions to the unemployment lines. “EPA has faced charges that their wide ranging estimates of public health benefits from their regulations show uncertainty and that the regulations actually cost jobs. EPA has not adequately responded to these charges. Recent research and testimony in Congress continues to bolster the argument that unemployment leads to poor public health and both Democrats and Republicans agree some jobs will be lost because of EPA’s regulations. No matter what the predictions are for jobs losses from these regulations, those who lose their jobs will suffer negative health effects. Those effects must be counted in any benefit-cost analysis by EPA.”
How dangerous are the EPA’s regulations to American jobs, already facing dire economic uncertainty? Even the left agrees that jobs will be lost.
“Whether Americans believe a net increase or decrease in jobs will occur because of EPA’s regulations, the fact is that all sides agree that some jobs will be lost.”
But the impact is far greater than “some jobs”. The EPA’s burdensome regulations serve to hamstring small business owners, leading to layoffs and businesses going under water. “In 2010, then Senator Blanche Lincoln wrote a column in the National Journal entitled “Regulating Small Businesses Out of Business.” In it, she states: “The significant increase in regulations being handed down by Washington is having real consequences. A recently released Gallup poll found that compliance with government regulations is now the single biggest problem facing small business owners. The same report indicated that about one in three small companies is concerned about going out of business in 2012. Similarly, earlier this year the rate of new startup businesses reached a 25 year low largely due to the uncertainty created by the government’s regulatory agenda.””
President Obama himself went as far as guaranteeing a “war” on the coal industry, one that powers an entire region of America, during the 2008 campaign.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
How many jobs could be lost to these regulations? The numbers are staggering. “According to the Senate Republican Policy Committee in 2011, an estimated 11.5 million Americans are projected to lose their jobs as a direct result of several proposed EPA rules: New Ozone Standards=7.3 million jobs lost…EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations=1.4 million jobs lost…New Utility Regulations=1.4 million…New Coal Ash Regulations=316,000…Offshore Drilling=187,000…Onshore Oil and Gas Lease Delays=69,000…New Boiler Regulations=60,000…Alaska Drilling Delays=54,700…New Cement Kiln Regulations=15,000.”
Rather than address the fact that their regulations clearly destroy jobs, thereby harming the physical health of workers, the EPA instead chooses to claim that they are creating a sufficient number of “green jobs” to offset the loss. These claims clearly do not hold water, in light of the damage their regulations do to American businesses. “For example, in March of 2011 the EPA released a presentation on their proposed Mercury Air Toxics Rule that said: “This rule will provide employment for thousands, by supporting 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs.”… Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center Susan Dudley refutes this claim in a December 20, 2011, column in The Hill: “Also disingenuous is the EPA’s claim that the ‘rule will provide employment for thousands, by supporting 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs.’ First, this estimate quantifies only the jobs necessary to comply with the new rules, and ignores jobs lost, despite its recognition that ‘the industries that use electricity will face higher electricity prices as the result of the toxics rule, reduce output, and demand less labor.’…as Dudley points out, the Administration ignores the thousands of jobs that will be eliminated at the plants and factories that shut down due to higher energy and construction costs of installing that equipment. The end result is thousands of jobs being crushed to create a few green jobs, which leads to higher unemployment.”
But despite clear proof that their regulations will cost Americans jobs, add to unemployment lines and bring down public health, the EPA still refuses to even include this problem in their supposedly accurate “health studies”.
“As demonstrated earlier in this report, studies show that unemployment leads to serious health effects for individuals…If in fact these regulations are having a negative effect on the economy, then there will be subsequent negative health effects for the public that must be taken into account by EPA.”
With millions more unemployed, and public wellness on a downhill slope, EPA regulations also skyrocket the overall cost of healthcare by putting a hammerlock on America’s energy:
“Hospital administrators have no choice but to pay attention to the cost of energy. U.S. healthcare facilities consume four percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S. spending, on average, $8.5 billion annually on energy, often equaling between one and three percent of a hospital’s operating budget. Additionally, EPA estimates, in the U.S., the health sector is the most energy-intensive commercial sector resulting in more than $600 million per year in direct health costs and over $5 billion in indirect costs. Under EPA’s proposed rules, electricity costs in some regions may increase over 20 percent as soon as 2016. The surging cost of energy will squeeze tight hospital budgets making access to affordable healthcare all the more difficult.”- September 22, 2011 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from Rep. Michael Burgess, Rep. Phil Gingrey, Rep. Bill Cassidy, Rep. John Fleming, Rep. Paul Broun, Rep. Paul Gosar, and Rep. Larry Bucshon.
These factors combine to show that the Obama Administration’s EPA, their regulations and analysis of such regulations, are fundamentally flawed, harmful to American business, American jobs and the public’s health at large. The EPA must address this fact.
“Any detailed cost-benefit analysis conducted by the EPA should incorporate the latest and best scientific analysis to understand and quantify the negative health effects of unemployment and lost income. It should also factor in the high energy costs for healthcare providers that result from costly regulations.”
Please call your Senators and ask them to vote “yea” on Senator Inhofe’s SJ Res 37, to overturn the EPA
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks