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Congressional Republicans have made a habit of opposing EPA regulations on energy production, claiming that meeting emissions restrictions and installing pollution-curbing equipment slows or inhibits growth and kills jobs. In fact, reports show that restrictions kill less than one percent of jobs. Instead, the EPA’s restrictions are on track to create 1.5 million environmental jobs in the next five years.
A 2011 study done by the University of Massachusetts found that, “Investments driven by EPA’s two new air quality rules create 1.5 million jobs.” That’s almost 300,000 environmental jobs a year for the next five years. The study also reported that since 1970, investments made to meet standards set by the Clean Air Act created “$4 to $8 in economic benefits for every $1 spent on compliance, according to the nonpartisan Office of Management and Budget.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2010, only 0.3% of jobs were lost or dissolved due to government regulations.
This information hasn’t stopped Congressional Republicans and energy companies from claiming that regulations are killing opportunities. In its first 20 days, the 112th House of Representatives convened 20 times trying to prove that regulations are destroying jobs.
Regulations that are properly designed prevent a number of unnecessary deaths due to toxic air emissions, and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. They also stimulate the economy by forcing industry to “up its game,” and inspiring large investments from private organizations. Both direct and indirect environmental jobs are created as a result of standards that protect our health and our world.
One recent example of this effect comes from Iowa, where Alliant Energy expects 400 environmental jobs to be created as a power plant implements new emissions-reducing technology.
For assistance with your environmental jobs search, check out the Career Builder Resource Center at U.S. Green Technology. There you can get help crafting your resume, tailoring your job hunt, and connecting with employers who will share your values and appreciate your skills.
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