EPA's new regs will send American jobs overseas

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 07:  EPA Administrator L...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Examiner Editorial:


Carbon limitation laws will send American manufacturing jobs overseas. Carbon emissions, unlike pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act, can only be reduced significantly through reductions in output, which necessarily means the loss of jobs, increases in prices, or both. As Obama's carbon limitation program begins next week, with new regulations coming into effect over the next two years, energy-intensive industries will begin weighing the costs and benefits of relocating manufacturing operations to countries -- think China and India -- whose governments do not significantly regulate carbon emissions. This is the last idea we should be raising in corporate boardrooms at a time of 9.8 percent unemployment, but it is apparently a higher priority for Obama than preserving American jobs.

Reuters reported last week that Obama has secured limited industry cooperation to propose his new regulations. He can be counted on to use whatever cooperation he gets as a public relations tool to blunt criticism, just as he did in the health care debate. For although industry resists to a point, it has ways of dealing with the increased costs -- sometimes even of profiting from them -- that are inaccessible to most Americans. For example, AES Corp., an energy company that lobbies for carbon regulation to protect its domestic investments in "green energy," simultaneously builds new coal- and diesel-fired power plants in Chile, Vietnam and India. Alcoa, the aluminum maker, lobbies for costly green policies here in America to boost the use of its light metal, but lobbies against them in Australia, where it actually makes aluminum.

I expect we will see new refineries in the Caribbean to replace the ones in Texas and Louisiana who cannot profitably operate under the new rules. Other manufacturing jobs are also likely to be moved out of the country in order to deal with the Democrats' carbon phobia.
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