- Texas has been a job creation machine, but the Obama administration’s weapon of mass job destruction – the EPA – has its sights set on the Lone Star state
In the lackluster Obama economy, there have been a few bright spots, in spite this administration’s efforts to quash employment and boost government dependency.
Initially crippled by the Great Recession and hampered since by a tsunami of new regulations, compliments of the most left-wing extremist president ever to sit in the Oval Office, there have nonetheless been a few bright spots in terms of job creation.
Recently we reported that some manufacturing is coming home to the U.S., a “reshoring” of jobs as labor conditions overseas become less attractive to our corporations.
North Dakota has experienced an economic renaissance, thanks to rapidly improving, less costly oil and gas extraction technology.
And the Texas economy, especially, has been a model of job creation, the result of lower regulations, lower taxes and an aggressive push by former Republican Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas officials to market the state’s business-friendly environment.
But the Obama administration’s continual war on job growth could soon claim the Lone Star state as its next casualty, thanks to new rules under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency.
As most Americans know, while Texas is business-friendly it is mostly known for being energy-rich. As hydraulic fracturing and other technologies make oil and gas extraction feasible in other parts of the country, the technology has made an impact in Texas as well. As noted by the Institute for Policy Innovation, the result of meetings in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, Calif., earlier this year, however, could spell disaster for Texas employment.
“Texas has been responsible for virtually all of the country’s net new job growth, and the EPA can’t let that a success story like that go unpunished,” writes Merrill Matthews.
In particular, “EPA officials want to tighten restrictions on ground level ozone, from the current 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 ppb—though it’s clear EPA officials really want to drop the level to 60 ppb,” Matthews wrote.
But why? The agency says the rule is necessary to improve emissions, but as the IPI noted, the change would result in negligible benefit, if any at all, yet cost the Texas – and by association the U.S. economy – dearly.
“Regulations impose additional costs on employers, which lead to lower wages and lost jobs. A National Association of Manufacturers-sponsored economic-impact analysis of the 60 ppb standard suggests that change would reduce Texans’ incomes by the equivalent of 182,347 in lost jobs per year. That equates to $48 billion in lost state GDP between 2017 and 2040, or $970 less in household consumption each year,” Matthews writes.
In addition, the new regs would cause a 15 percent spike in residential electricity rates nationally, which of course affects lower-income households disproportionately (the economic demographic Obama and Democrats always claim to want to help the most).
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a former chief economist for the U.S. Deparment of Labor and current Manhattan Institute economic fellow, says those in the bottom fifth of the income bracket spend about a quarter of their income on electricity, while those in the top fifth only spend about 4 percent on electricity.
“Try to rectify that economic impact with Obama’s professed concern for working Americans,” Matthews writes.
The EPA has been Obama’s preferred agency of choice when it comes to the imposition of new, costly, job-killing regulations. Just recently the agency issued new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants that are certain to result in the closure of many of them, in addition to the resultant loss of jobs and hike in electric rates (which Obama has long sought).
In April 2014, the agency implemented rules to cut emissions from new wood-burning stoves and heaters, beginning this year. And in 2010, the EPA went after lead bullets, eventually driving “the last bullet-producing lead smelter [to] close its doors on Dec. 31 ,” according to Fox News.
Just how important has Texas been to Obama’s job growth boasting?
As American Enterprise Institute economist Mark J. Perry recently explained, “Texas is solely responsible for the 1.169 million net increase in total U.S. employment (+1,444,290 Texas jobs minus the 275,290 non-Texas job loss) in the seven year period between the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and December 2014.”
It’s no secret that Obama loves big government, but the Republicans don’t seem to be in any mood to put the brakes on, either. Sooner or later, it will be up to the states themselves to push back against the federal leviathan.
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