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Government Regulations – or Not Taking Action on Climate Change: Which One is Really Hurting Jobs?

There is an on-going debate about how – and if – government regulations affect jobs.  Congressional leaders “have identified 10 “job-destroying regulations” they want to repeal, and a steady stream of bills have been proposed to block environmental rules governing everything from cement plants to boilers.” 

But according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, very few layoffs are caused principally by tougher rules.  As their data shows, “in 2010, 0.3 percent of the people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of “government regulations/intervention.” By comparison, 25 percent were laid off because of a drop in business demand.”

“A decade ago, in a landmark study, Richard Morgenstern, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan think tank, Resources for the Future, who worked at the EPA starting under the Reagan administration and continuing into President Bill Clinton’s first term, and his research team, looked at the effect of regulations on four heavily polluting industries — pulp and paper mills, plastic manufacturers, petroleum refiners, and iron and steel mills — between 1979 and 1991.  The researchers concluded that higher spending to comply with environment rules does not cause “a significant change” in industry employment. When jobs were lost, they were often made up elsewhere in the same industry.”

Furthermore, Mark Fulton, global head of climate-change investment research at Deutsche Bank, recently co-authored a study, The German CLEAN Program Story, concluding that within the next two decades, as regulations become tougher on polluting industries, energy efficiency measures increase, and the United States begins to shift to natural gas and renewables, a net 500,000 jobs in the United States will be generated.  From installers and electricians to managers and environmental monitors, new industry creates new jobs. 

And not taking action on climate change is what is actually hurting jobs, accordng to the BlueGreen Alliance — 11 of America’s largest labor unions and four of its most influential environmental organizations.  They recently released a statement “Fighting Climate Change, Creating Jobs,”   “From the costs of increasingly severe weather events to the rising cost of food from climate-related droughts, Americans pay for global warming every day.  But the biggest cost that we pay is in lost opportunity. As it stands, the U.S. is failing to take advantage of the opportunities to create good jobs by addressing climate change. This makes less and less sense as our economy struggles to regain its footing, and as millions of Americans continue to search for work.”

Visit the Washington Post Article: Does Government Regulation Really Kill Jobs?  

and the Huffington Post Article:  The Cost of Climate Change is Jobs

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