Going green won’t kill jobs during hard times, by Josh Bivens

 

Claims that environmental regulations will worsen unemployment are false. When the economy is struggling, the opposite is true

IN DECEMBER, the Obama administration approved long-overdue environmental regulations requiring US power plants to reduce emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic metals. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or air toxics rule, is expected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths a year and have many other health benefits. And yet conservative members of Congress oppose it.

Why? Because they say it will “kill jobs”. This is a familiar tactic for politicians opposed to any sort of regulation. Conservatives have been scarily disciplined in appending the job-killing label to all regulations, both old and new.

As somebody who has been on the front line of this particular battle, I’m afraid to say that the tactic seems to have resonance. Of course, it has also been a disaster for those interested in a true assessment of regulation’s impacts on the economy.

[continue on New Scientist]

Josh Bivens is acting research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington DC

By Josh Bivens, in New Scientist

EcoDebate, 31/03/2012

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