A new report by Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) delivers the latest blow to this popular talking point, demonstrating a direct correlation between environmental regulations and job growth. NESCAUM looked at the Northeast and found that by enacting stricter fuel economy standards and pursuing cleaner forms of energy, more Americans would be put back to work.
From the NESCAUM study:Employment increases by 9,490 to 50,700 jobs.
Gross regional product, a measure of the states’ economic output, increases by 2.1 billion to 4.9 billion.
Household disposable income increases by 1 billion to 3.3 billion.
Gasoline and diesel demand drops 12 to 29 percent.
Carbon pollution from transportation is cut by 5 to 9 percent.
And this is just for eleven states in the Northeast. A similar trend has been verified in California, where the standards set forth by NESCAUM are already in place.
But in the "Republicans Against Science" age, one study is certainly not enough to undo the damage that this “job killing regulation” GOP talking point has done to America, even when there are numerous other studies to back it up. Increased fuel economy standards already led to the creation of more than 155,000 U.S. jobs, according to the United Auto Workers union.
Last year, while Senate Democrats worked to pass sweeping environmental protection legislation, reports showed that the proposed efforts to protect the environment and invest in green technologies would have provided a boost to the economy by creating several hundred thousand much-needed jobs for out of work Americans.
The thing of it is, a move to a clean energy economy or to any of a number of safer, better practices in other areas would create jobs, but those are potential jobs. Meanwhile, corporations and politicians that want to keep doing the same old thing point to existing jobs and claim (rightly or wrongly) that these jobs are threatened by increased regulation, with no word of the jobs that will be created in new fields. For instance, a move away from oil would cut jobs currently involved in oil; it's just that it would also create jobs in other areas, like wind or solar. In fact, as Think Progress recently pointed out, the United States is a $1.8 billion net exporter of solar products. That involves jobs. But since jobs aren't what oil companies or politicians like Michele Bachmann actually care about, they'll just keep using the false "job killing" talking point and hoping no one notices how many jobs there could be in doing things more responsibly.