By Hans Bader
New EPA rules will cost more than 800,000 jobs, probably far more, according to a newly released congressional report. That includes the EPA’s first set of rules “for Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” and “new standards for commercial and industrial boilers.” Indeed, the boiler rules alone could cost close to 800,000 jobs.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. In 2008, President Obama admitted that under his greenhouse gas regulations, people’s utility bills would “skyrocket,” and coal-fired power plants would go “bankrupt.” The EPA’s own internal documents show that the administration’s global warming regulations will result in a massive “loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs.”
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It’s not just the administration’s global warming regulations that will wipe out jobs. The stimulus package contained so-called “green jobs” funding, 79 percent of which went to foreign firms, replacing American jobs with foreign green jobs. A recent biofuel program actually wiped out jobs rather than creating them as intended, while costing taxpayers a lot of money.
The administration’s energy policies presume that central planners know better than private citizens and companies about how to create jobs and allocate capital. But government officials, unlike private companies, have little incentive to make economically wise decisions, since they don’t pay the cost of their own mistakes, but rather pass them on to taxpayers. The Justice Department, for example, often ignores the misconduct and constitutional violations committed by its own employees, while the federal Energy Department is one of the biggest violators of America’s environmental laws.