NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Environmental Protection Agency Rules Threaten Jobs

November 3, 2011

In assigning blame for those groups that arrest potential growth and are contributing to the continued stagnation of the American economy, look no further than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  By continuing or increasing regulations on some of the most vital, productive sectors of our economy, the EPA's heavy-handed measures will plunge us disastrously further into recession and unemployment.  And more importantly, threatening reliable and affordable electricity will further inhibit long-term economic development, says Investor's Business Daily.

  • By reclassifying coal ash as hazardous waste without justification, the EPA will impose costs of $20 billion annually and could lead to the early retirement of 250 to 350 coal plants.
  • The EPA plans to regulate over 10,000 commercial and industrial boilers that by some estimates will cost up to 800,000 jobs.
  • The proposed mercury and other air pollutants standard, which is the strictest in U.S. history, could cost over $350 billion and shut down 15 gigawatts (GW) of power, affecting energy prices and reliability for roughly 15 million American households.
  • The Cross State Air Pollution Rule threatens 55 GW of energy, potentially affecting up to 55 million Americans households with less reliable, more expensive energy.
  • The regulation of greenhouse gases could culminate in the loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2030, and increase energy costs by 50 percent for gasoline and residential electricity.

The effects that the EPA, with its newfound proclivity for pervasive intervention, will have on the economy and future growth are significant and devastating.  In addition to these direct losses, the increasingly regulated business environment in the United States stands to impose numerous indirect losses, as corporations become increasingly unsure about the stability of American markets.  Therefore, because of all of these net negative impacts on the American economy, it is paramount that solutions to the current stagnation involve deregulation and an attempt to rein in the ever-increasing autonomy of the EPA in unilateral policymaking.

Source: Todd Wynn, "Occupy EPA, Not Wall Street," Investor's Business Daily, October 27, 2011.

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