Policy Documents

The Leaflet: RIP 224,000 Jobs Per Year

June 5, 2014

RIP: 224,000 Jobs Per Year

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its “Clean Power Plan” proposal at the direction of President Barack Obama. The plan mandates a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions for current power plants by 2030. EPA claims the regulations will “ensure a healthier environment, spur innovation and strengthen the economy.” Opponents have said the regulations will dramatically increase electricity bills, have little or no effect in reducing air pollution, and be disastrous for the economy.
 
According to a report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Fossil fuel-fired power stations comprise almost 75 percent of the generating capacity and nearly 66 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.” By radically increasing the regulatory burden faced by this power source, “These rules threaten to suppress average annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $51 billion and lead to an average of 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs every year through 2030, relative to baseline economic forecasts.”
 
Many experts say the proposed regulations are all pain and no gain, since they will have minimal impact on worldwide CO2 emissions and no impact on the world’s climate. According to Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, the regulations “are based on junk science and a cavalier disregard for the impact of higher energy prices on the typical family.”
 
The voting, taxpaying public can voice its concerns over these harmful and unnecessary regulations by submitting comments on EPA’s website during the 120-day comment period, which starts once the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

Energy & Environment

 
Environmental activists once feared “endocrine disruptors,” chemicals in our environment that supposedly interfere with and adversely affect proper human hormone production, until the science proved their concerns unfounded. Now certain news stories indicate the misguided fear may get a second chance. Heartland Policy Analyst Taylor Smith highlights the scientific research demonstrating there is nothing to be alarmed about. Read More

Health Care

 
Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans examines the benefits of adopting “Right to Try” policies. The current process for pharmaceutical firms seeking Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for new medications is long and arduous, and “Right to Try” would give terminal patients the ability to try drugs that have not gone completely through the FDA approval process. Glans concludes, “Right to Try laws allow patients, with the advice of their doctors, to choose what treatments to try. These laws take reasonable steps to ensure the drugs are reasonably safe and that drug manufacturers and patients work to manage legal risk.” Read More
 
Telecom
 
The Federal Communications Commission in May voted 3–2 to advance new Internet rules. Heartland Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans concludes in this Research & Commentary, “these regulations are a throwback to a system that no longer exists and is ill-suited to today’s dynamic Internet and broadband markets. The Internet has never really been neutral, and the best way to ensure fair service is to promote competition by reducing, not increasing, the amount of regulation.” Read More
 
Education
 
Illinois state Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) appeared recently on Comcast Newsmakers to discuss a bill he’s proposed to bring perhaps the most innovative school choice idea to Illinois. It’s called education savings accounts, which deposit a child’s state education funding into an account parents control. Read More
 
Budget & Tax 
 
In an article appearing in the Heartlander digital magazine, the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole explains why light rail construction programs are a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Read More
 
From Our Free-Market Friends
 
A report produced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in March examines how raising the minimum wage damages business, results in decreased employment opportunities, and catalyzes inflation. While supporters of these policies claim they reduce poverty, in the end they hurt those they intend to help the most.  Read More

 
The May issue of Environment & Climate News reports on the findings of a new, federal-government-funded study showing cellulosic ethanol made from corn residue emits more carbon dioxide than ethanol. “The findings are a severe blow to the biofuel industry,” writes Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor, “as fuels must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent relative to conventional gasoline to qualify as a renewable fuel for federal subsidy programs.”

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