The Environmental Protection Agency Comes Down on Texas Jobs
March 4, 2015
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to impose rigid regulations in Texas, which could devastate the nation's top jobs producer. Since 2007, the 1.169 million net increase in total U.S. employment has been a direct result of Texas' booming economy. Yet, the EPA's proposed regulations will force additional costs on employers, therefore leading to lower wages and fewer jobs.
The new regulations, which would result in ambiguous environmental benefits, impose rigid restrictions reducing ground level ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) down to 60 ppb. According to a National Association of Manufacturers-sponsored economic impact, analysis of the 60 ppb standard suggests:
- The change could reduce Texans' incomes by the equivalent of 182,347 in lost jobs per year. This is the equivalent to $48 billion in lost state GDP between 2017 and 2040, or $970 less in household consumption each year.
- The new regulations would increase residential electricity bills by an estimated 15 percent nationally, which disproportionately affects lower-income households.
- The energy industry is set to receive the biggest blow. Baker Hughes, for example, recently announced it is laying off 7,000 employees.
The EPA should consider the national economic implications of overregulating ground level ozone in Texas. The EPA has already targeted wood-burning stoves and heaters in an effort to reduce emissions. In 2013, the federal agency forced the last remaining lead bullet producer to shut its doors. As a result, thousands of Americans are out of work.
Source: Merrill Matthews, "The EPA Hopes to Kill the Texas Jobs Machine," The Institute for Policy Innovation, January 28, 2015.
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