Studies Show Environmental Protections Don't Hurt Job Creation

While Republicans talk about their “Forgettable Fifteen” bills to roll back critical environmental and consumer protections, the facts show that they won’t lead to job creation.

Economists have said these bills won’t create jobs or help our economy.

Republicans admitted in their own report on the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401), one of the “Forgettable 15” bills that would indefinitely block regulations to limit toxic mercury, dioxin, acid gases, smog and soot from power plants, that there was no analysis to show these protections hurt job creation.

And study after study shows no indication that environmental protections hurt employment or hamper economic growth. In fact, these studies suggest these critical protections actually create jobs, boost productivity, and save money on health care costs. Here are a select few for your afternoon reading:

Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM): This found that by enacting stricter vehicle emissions standards and pursuing cleaner forms of energy – things that would be put at risk by the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 910), another of the Republicans’ “Forgettable 15” bills – more Americans would be put back to work. NESCAUM found higher employment and economic growth with stricter fuel standards and cleaner energy for the 11 Northeast states included in the study:

  • Employment increases by 9,490 to 50,700 jobs.
  • Gross regional product, a measure of the states’ economic output, increases by 2.1 billion to 4.9 billion.
  • Household disposable income increases by 1 billion to 3.3 billion.
  • Gasoline and diesel demand drops 12 to 29 percent. 
  • Carbon pollution from transportation is cut by 5 to 9 percent.

Unites Automotive Workers Union (UAW), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF): This study shows that vehicle emissions standards, which would be in jeopardy if the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 910) became law, are already responsible for 155,000 jobs at 504 facilities in 43 states and the District of Columbia. 119,000 jobs have been created in this industry since 2009. And that number will just go up under the new higher MPG rules announced by the Obama Administration, according to two recent studies released by Ceres.

Economist Frank Ackerman at Tufts University: Analysis of an industry group report that claimed regulation of coal ash disposal, which Republicans are attempting to roll back through the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act (H.R. 2273), one of the Republicans’ “Forgettable 15” bills, could lead to the loss of more than 300,000 jobs. This analysis shows fundamental flaws in the claim that air protections will hurt job creation– most notably, that it provided no explanation for more than 50,000 of the supposedly lost jobs, and determined that strict regulation of coal ash would result in a net gain of 28,000 jobs.

EPA: This study estimates that the Clean Air Act, which Republicans are seeking to undermine with several of their “Forgettable 15” bills, has prevented 230,000 deaths, and boosted productivity by preventing 3.2 million lost school days and 13 million lost work days a year in 2010. The benefits of this Act, including savings in medical expenses and increased worker productivity, are 30 times greater than its cost of implementation.