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Blog: Harmful Attacks on the EPA

Oct 24, 2011 | By Eric Gibble

The unfounded attacks on the EPA ignore the lives saved and productivity created by the agency.

Tax rates are now at the lowest levels since the 1950’s. Yet the rich have not created jobs with their massive tax breaks. Millions are still unemployed. Millions more struggle to make ends meet in the face of higher health care costs, rising mortagae payments, growing food prices, and increased energy fees. We now see the theory of the “trickle-down” economy has fundamentally failed the American people.

Now that tax rates cannot be blamed, where will opponents target their anti-government rhetoric?

The Environmental Protection Agency has now become that scapegoat. It is being labeled as a job-killing machine by the politicians, ruthlessly going out of its way to impose regulations that have destoryed the American economy. Or so, that’s what we have been made to believe. In the 2011 budget, the House was able to reduce the EPA by 16% from 2010 spending, bringing it to $8.7 billion.

On Sept. 23, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011 passed the House. This act would repeal or block new and pending clean air protections, from standards that would curb mercury emissions from power plants to limits on pollution that travels across state lines, and remove proposed ozone and greenhouse gas standards. This is a direct attack on the productivity and lives on the American people.

They have ignored the fact that by 2020, the Clean Air Act would prevent:

  • 230,000 premature deaths
  • 2.4 million asthma attacks
  • 200,000 heart attacks
  • 5.4 million lost school days.

The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst concluded that "new air pollution rules proposed for the electric power sector by the Environmental Protection Agency will provide long-term economic benefits across much of the United States in the form of highly skilled, well paying jobs through infrastructure investment."

According to the nonpartisan Office of Management and Budget, investments could create an estimated $4 to $8 in economic benefits for every $1 spent on compliance with the Clean Air Act since 1970. New enforcements would create 1.46 million jobs between 2010 and 2015 due to installing new pollution controls with skilled, high-paying workers.

These irrational attacks are senseless. The air we breathe is being sacrificed in the name of big business with little proof that deregulation, like taxes, actually brings job creation.