published Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Show us the jobs!

Time and again, environmental activists have suggested there is no real down side to the United States pursuing a “clean energy” agenda.

They have tried to convince the country that we can have all the “green” energy we need at an affordable price, and without the objectionable emissions of traditional energy sources such as coal and oil, nor the radioactive waste produced by nuclear power. Not only that, they claim green energy initiatives will produce lots of great jobs and will be a boon to the economy.

And yet, despite all the optimistic assertions about alternative energy such as wind, solar and ethanol, we see Congress repeatedly providing those industries massive taxpayer-funded subsidies to prop them up in a free market that has not enthusiastically embraced them.

So Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, is challenging the Obama administration, which wants to impose harsh environmental rules on oil refineries and power plants, to back up its claims. He has proposed legislation that would force the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the economic effects of the restrictions it plans to place on energy production.

The EPA would have to specify the net jobs that any new environmental regulation would produce or destroy, directly or indirectly, and it would have to explain in detail how it arrived at those figures. Vague claims of job creation would not do.

As Olson told Hearst Newspapers, that would “make EPA go on record.” Then, if rosy job-creation estimates didn’t pan out, Congress and the American people could hold the EPA accountable.

Such an accountability effort is plainly reasonable. After the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration harshly clamped down on deep-water oil exploration. It said job losses from that moratorium would be minimal — but various private analysts found the losses would be far higher than the administration estimated.

If in fact a proposed EPA regulation will not destroy jobs, there should be no objection to requiring a detailed analysis to demonstrate that. If, however, the EPA or its allies in Congress balk at performing such an analysis, it will show that they realize the potential economic harm of the new regulation.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask for verification when the administration claims that strict — and sometimes dubious — new environmental rules will be economically neutral or will even promote job growth.

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sandyonsignal said...

I'm not following your logic here. The EPA is designed for cleaner air and water standards. It is to protect us from a ruined environment which happened in the Gulf last year and scenarios like what happened in Japan this year. Both of those eco-disaters were risky and put profits above people's safety. The net result was all out catastrophe for the Gulf and Japan. BP's explosion killed 14 workers by fire due to their compromise with safety and desire to drill deep into the ocean floor. Loss of life for marine animals, toxic food chains and uninhabitable grounds destroy jobs and livelihood. The EPA and other agencies are designed to protect us from eco-disasters and ecocides.

Job creation would come from an alternative and clean sources of energy, such as farming, windmills, solar plants, etc... this would happen more in rural areas and not in off shore drilling. Ever heard of a gigantic wind spill? Me, neither.

April 17, 2011 at 8:09 a.m.
ceeweed said...

I thought the Republicans had the job creation thing on the top of their list. I guess union busting and stripping funds for NPR trumped all that. Besides, who needs the EPA? We will be just fine allowing corporations to police themselves. Global Capitalism should not be impeded by any government regulations. One only has to look at the history of Big Industries' stewardship of our planet to see they are green conscious, the green with the dead presidents' pictures on them.

April 17, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
nucanuck said...

We can continue with the consumption of ever harder to reach dwindling fossil fuels until the prices soar beyond all reason, or we can prepare for the inevitable by pushing forward with alternatives while slowly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

This is not an either or debate, alternative energy has to happen.

April 17, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
charivara said...

Republicans foisted on us the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002, the Jobs Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. They decreased all tax rates, but heavily favored the very wealthy and corporations in order to spur investment. Show us the jobs. Hypocrite.

April 17, 2011 at 11:10 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

The United States uses roughly 25% of the oil in the world; yet, only has about 2% available in the US reserves. This means almost all of it must be imported. This only creates jobs for other countries overseas. If the U.S. wants job creation, it needs to look at alternative and clean energy here at home.

April 17, 2011 at 11:53 a.m.
EaTn said...

I think most of the GOP have taken their cue from Fred of Sanford and Son who quipped he didn't want to breathe anything he couldn't see. Those who think jobs are more important than the environment really don't understand they go hand-in-hand in the long run, which for my kids and grandkids sake I think is what counts.

April 17, 2011 at 12:04 p.m.
acerigger said...

I'll bet this editorial gets shuffled to the bottom pretty quick, not enough wingnuts in the comments!

April 17, 2011 at 4:25 p.m.
rick1 said...

sandyonsignal said: This means almost all of it must be imported. This only creates jobs for other countries overseas.

You can thank Obama for that.

Last month while in Brazil Obama said: "We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."

Obama wants to develop Brazilian offshore oil to help the Brazilian economy create jobs for Brazilian workers. How does this create jobs in this country where millions of Americans are still unemployed and energy prices continue to rise almost daily. It appears Obama wants to increase our dependency on foreign oil, yet last week he said we need to break our dependence on foreign oil.

Obama said in an op-ed in USA Today that his trip to Brazil holds recently discovered oil reserves that could be far larger than ours. And as we seek to increase secure-energy supplies, we look forward to developing a strategic energy partnership."

Yet in his alleged quest for "secure-energy supplies," he refuses to develop oil and natural gas resources in U.S. waters. Obama has locked up areas in the West where oil shale reserves are estimated to be triple Saudi Arabia's reserves of crude. Obama is even stalling on plans to build a pipeline to deliver oil from Canada's tar sands to the U.S. market.

That project would build a 1,661-mile pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to U.S. refineries in Texas. It would create 13,000 "shovel-ready" jobs and provide 500,000 more barrels of oil per day.

It is Obama who is preventing the job growth.

April 17, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick,

The Brazilian off-shore oil deposits are so deep that the cost to extract it will price it out of today's market.

The US shale reserves presently require more energy to extract than the energy produced...not yet viable.

The Canadian tar sands, too, are expensive to extract and an ecological disaster in the making. Canada would do well to slow down expansion of tar sand oil extraction until ways are developed to lessen the ecological impact. Tar sands also suffer from a low EROEI.

The age of oil is past ripe and we will have to change our lifestyles...sooner than you think...you can count on it. Those that don't prepare and fiddle around with the blame game, will be greatly inconvenienced at the least.

April 17, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck:

"The Brazilian off-shore oil deposits are so deep that the cost to extract it will price it out of today's market".

Then why did did Obama make the comment We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers." Obama also provided them with $ 2 billion dollars for this.

"The US shale reserves presently require more energy to extract than the energy produced...not yet viable". FALSE

Oil Shale is the most massive area of potential oil production in the world with an estimated 1.5 Trillion barrel potential. The technology necessary to extract this oil is now in place and being operated on a pilot project basis. The value of this resource: $150 Trillion.

"The Canadian tar sands, too, are expensive to extract and an ecological disaster in the making. Canada would do well to slow down expansion of tar sand oil extraction until ways are developed to lessen the ecological impact. Tar sands also suffer from a low EROEI."

The Keystone XL Pipeline, would run from Alberta, Canada all the way to Texas, and it would have connections to other pipelines to other refineries in the U.S. along the way. The Keystone Pipeline would have the capacity to give us yet another 1.1 million barrels a day. This has received favorable reviews by the State and Energy Departments but enviormentalists have been in opposition and Obama has ordered more evironmental studies. The Canadians have a good record on environmental protection. And they have gotten the extraction process for tar-sand oil very ecologically safe. Over 80% of the water used in the extraction process is recycled, and the "trailing ponds" are being planted over with trees and shrubbery.

Reports estimate project this pipeline would bring an estimated 20,000 new construction jobs and 250,000 long-term jobs about $585 million in corporate and other taxes and $5 billion in property taxes.

Here is what former President Clinton had to say about Obama and his delays in permitting more drilling for oil.there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,”

Clinton also siad there was a need for more domestic shale gas production, with Clinton noting that it has been done safely for years in his home state of Arkansas.

Obama's policies on energy are causing thousands of people to continue to be unemployed.

April 17, 2011 at 8:13 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick,

Clearly you can believe what you choose. I have focused on energy sources and potential for ten years and have come to believe that nothing we can do will sustain the present consumption levels. My views are my views, but if you dig deep, I think you will come to similar conclusions.

April 17, 2011 at 11:03 p.m.
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