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Obama arranging deck chairs on the Titanic: Says ‘EPA regs create jobs’

posted at 12:46 pm on January 13, 2012 by

On August 10, 2011, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said with a straight face that extending unemployment compensation creates jobs. Several days later, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the same outrageous claim for food stamps.

Now the torch has been passed to the president himself, who told employees of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday that EPA regulations are good for the economy and create jobs [h/t].

In this video clip from the speech, Obama proclaims:

When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, we create new jobs building and installing all sorts of pollution-control technology.

Really? Around the time that economists Carney and Vilsack were delivering themselves of their learned opinions on unemployment checks and food stamps, an article appeared in the New York Times glumly noting that “federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed.” The article cited a study by the Brookings Institution which concedes, moreover:

The clean economy remains an enigma: hard to assess. Not only do ‘green’ or ‘clean’ activities and jobs related to environmental aims pervade all sectors of the U.S. economy; they also remain tricky to define and isolate—and count.

The report goes on to note that in at least one region of the nation , the area around Silicon Valley, the green sector actually lost rather than gained jobs.

None of this has shaken Obama’s faith in the connection between economic vitality and the greening of America. As he tells his audience elsewhere in his prepared remarks:

When we put in place new emissions standards for our vehicles, we make sure that the cars of tomorrow are going to be built right here in the United States of America, that we’re going to win that race.

Smart of the president to couch his claim in the future tense, because in the present tense his arguments are not consistent with reality. Spreadsheet data from a report compiled by CNW Marketing Research reveal a sharp drop in the enthusiasm level of prospective electric vehicle owners toward America’s current “car of tomorrow,” the Chevy Volt. The percentage of owners “very unlikely” to buy a Volt increased from 6.1% in March 2011 to 35.4% in December 2011. According to Torque News, American car owners are far more predisposed to owning the Japanese-built Nissan Leaf, which costs less and delivers more in the way of style.

At one point in his speech Obama states that “we don’t have to choose between dirty air and dirty water or a growing economy.” Ordinarily, I would dismiss this as one of his straw man arguments, but in this case his point is legitimate—and mistaken in its intended bottom line. The nation and world teeter on the brink of economic Armageddon. The recovery at home, such as it is, has been called the worst since the Great Depression. The nation’s debt is at a record high.

For now, we need a plan to put Americans back to work by resorting to whatever means are necessary. In other words, we do have to choose between a dirty environment and growing the economy, if that’s what it comes to, and we have to make the right choice.

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Romney says regulations create jobs as well. he said so in the first debate for New Hampshire.

astonerii on January 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Well how about all the jobs in coal states, oil&gas companies in the gulf, and almost every thing the epa gets involved with makes jobs crater? bho opens his mouth, he will always lie!

letget on January 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

The regs coming out of EPA, added to the regs out of all the other federal agencies are a major reason (along with tax rates and unions) why companies keep moving jobs overseas.
So from the lib misinformation perspective – sure they create jobs, just not here in the US.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

How much farther detached from reality can this administration become? Isn’t there some kind of disease that describes this?

sadatoni on January 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Disease? Why yes. It’s called Liberalism.

countrybumpkin on January 13, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Regulations squander wealth for promised, immeasurable benefits. Regulations are taxes that harm competition in the market. Regulations drive the lobbyist market. Regulations are written by faceless bureaucrats who most likely have never worked in private industry, and therefore have no idea what the true cost of their cost of compliance.

tom daschle concerned on January 13, 2012 at 3:02 PM

When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, we create new jobs building and installing all sorts of pollution-control technology.

Man that’s some good kool-aid there! Gimme another glass…

Marcola on January 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Who knew rank idiocy could be so beneficial?

squint on January 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Seems I remember something last year about the EPA being unable to estimate the cost of complying with certain regs, because the technology needed to comply had not yet been invented. Does anyone recall that?
Anyway, it sounded like justification to send more big bucks to ivory-tower research schools in the name of ‘stimulus’.

Marcola on January 13, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Does anybody listen to this guy anymore? Everything he says is such a joke.

Southgirl on January 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Time to stock up on bio-fuel…

Oh snap!

Roy Rogers on January 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

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