The president has found a way to add jobs, after all — 230,000 of ’em, all within the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s the number of new bureaucrats the federal government will need to hire to implement new proposed greenhouse gas regulations, according to a report by The Daily Caller:
The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.
The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.
The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.
Keep in mind that the $21 billion figure doesn’t include the economic cost of the regulations themselves.
Is it fair to criticize the president for the type of job these bureaucratic open positions would offer? Well, sure — the left constantly says Texas’ McJobs don’t count. These paper-pushing jobs grow the administrative state and come at a high cost to taxpayers. They burden the economy rather than add value to it.
But public-sector jobs seem to be the only kind of jobs the president knows how to create. From the beginning of the recession in January 2008 to the middle of 2010, for example, the private sector lost some 7.9 million jobs, while the public sector gained 590,000 jobs. From the passage of the stimulus bill in February 2009 to the middle of 2010, the private sector lost more than 2.6 million jobs, while the government workforce grew by 400,000.
In case the president does care to create more private-sector jobs (and my fingers are almost numb from typing this solution repeatedly), he might consider opening up the Gulf. According to the Consumer Energy Alliance, increasing the pace of permit approvals for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico would create 23,000 new jobs in virtually every state in the country, bolster GDP by $44 billion and generate nearly $12 billion in revenue to state and federal treasuries. From drilling products producers to truck drivers, from tug boat operators to farmers, Americans across the country stand to benefit from this ever-so-simple solution.
P.S. This is only tangentially related, but I’m still so annoyed by it that I have to squeeze it into some post somewhere. In case you missed it, the Obama administration banned over-the-counter asthma inhalers because of environmental concerns. Like regulations that require hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats to administer (or, more popularly, the light bulb ban), this inhaler ban is yet another example of a type of environmentalism that becomes so pervasive as to be lifestyle control — i.e. it’s yet another example of environmentalism run amok.