EPA Endangerment: A Hammer to Manufacturing Jobs

CNN ran a very good report on Thursday’s “CNN TONIGHT” on the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding and the economic impact of government programs to restrict carbon dioxide. Included in the report was a video segment with NAM’s Keith McCoy and Jason Speer of Quality Float Works of Schaumburg, Ill. From the transcript:

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Quality float works has been around since 1915. Making metal float balls used on flagpoles, weather vanes, plumbing and industrial devices. Over the years, company executives have been working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, recycling used oil, reducing their EQs (ph) and buying more fuel efficient equipment.

Still the company’s Vice President, Jason Speer is worried about new environmental regulations that could be in the making. This week the Environmental Protection Agency declared greenhouse gases a danger to public health, paving the way to regulating carbon dioxide emissions. Issuing its finding, the EPA said, quote, “Science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity.” But Speer says if the EPA imposes new regulations, it could cripple his company.

JASON SPEER, QUALITY FLOAT WORKS: Manufacturing is an energy intensive business, and you know, every little penny counts right now and this environment, you know, we are trying to compete internationally. With some of these regulations, it hinders our ability to compete globally.

SYLVESTER: Many in the business community lead by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers oppose agency regulation under the Clean Air Act.

KEITH MCCOY, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS: The Clean Air Act is not designed for this type of action so you’re really taking a square peg and hammering it into a round hole. If they’ll do it, it will be done probably with great pain to manufacturing.

SYLVESTER: McCoy says with unemployment already at 10 percent. Added regulation could slow the country’s economic recovery, but Tufts University Professor, Gilbert Metcalf disagrees saying outside of the gas and oil industry, job losses shouldn’t be too severe.

PROF. GILBERT METCALF, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: I think the job loss is very much overblown. If we start with a kind of modest policies that are embodied in either the House or the Senate.

That’s not really a very comforting assurance from the Tufts academic, even if he’s right: Outside of the industry that creates 9 million jobs and accounts for 7.5 percent of the U.S. GDP, it’s no big deal.

The report followed with a discussion on the economic consequences with Margo Thorning of the American Council of Capital Formation and Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Join the discussion One Comment

Leave a Reply