There go 800,000 jobs, for real this time?

There go 800,000 jobs, for real this time? September 29, 2010

1970; Hippies vs Hardhats

Back in 2005, when unemployment figures were averaging about 5.1 percent, and the press was continually reporting any and all good economic or employment news with the almighty “but,” CNNMoney ran a particularly misleading headline: “There Go 800,000 Jobs Out the Door.

The expected downturn in the housing market could end up costing 800,000 construction and finance jobs, putting a big dent in economic growth over the next two years, a report from UCLA said.

Now, obviously, downturns have occurred, and bubbles have burst, but I remember being particularly incensed by that headline which seemed to me just another example of the press talking down the economy, every chance they could.

I may or may not have been right about it (I was a bit more hotheaded back then; as I have said before, my prayer life has affected my blogging!) but it looks like that headline might be back in circulation, soon, and it will be the fault of the EPA. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has an exclusive on this:

Actually, it’s not just the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s minority contingent that fears the loss of nearly a million jobs from new EPA rules on greenhouse gases and other emissions issues. It’s also groups like the United Steel Workers, Unions for Jobs and the Environment, and experts like King’s College Professor Ragnar Lofstedt. Hot Air got an exclusive look at a report that the EPW minority staff will release later this morning detailing the economic damage that an activist EPA will do to the American economy, and which will come at perhaps the worst possible time, both economically and politically.

The executive summary spells out the stakes involved in the effort to rein in the EPA:

* New standards for commercial and industrial boilers: up to 798,250 jobs at risk;
* The revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone: severe restrictions on job creation and business expansion in hundreds of counties nationwide.
* New standards for Portland Cement plants: up to 18 cement plants at risk of shutting down, threatening nearly 1,800 direct jobs and 9,000 indirect jobs;
* The Endangerment Finding/Tailoring Rules for Greenhouse Gas Emissions: higher energy costs; jobs moving overseas; severe economic impacts on the poor, the elderly, minorities, and those on fixed incomes; 6.1 million sources subject to EPA control and regulation; and

In fact, the new regulations threaten to put entire industries out of business. The new standard for boilers, titled “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters” and called the Boiler MACT, creates a standard that literally no producer in the US meets at the moment. The industry group Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) represents end-user firms that employ 750,000 in various industries, and they concur.

There’s more. You’ll want to read it all and ponder the notion of governing a country into the ground will all of the little laws that come from a big bureaucracy.

Remaking America, indeed.

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