At the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference held in D.C. on Wednesday, green investment group Ceres announced the findings of a new study conducted at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), the essence of which is that two new Clean Air Act rules that are currently pending approval would create nearly 1.5 million jobs.
What are the two rules?
The Clean Air Transport Rule “would reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions that contribute to acid rain and smog.” And the UtilityMACT “would require industrial boilers to cut their hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, arsenic, lead, and hydrochloric acid.”
Both of these rules, barring any wild Republican sabotaging, are expected to be finalized in 2011.
Economic Benefits Actually Underestimated
Although some jobs would be lost from the closing of old, excessively-polluting coal plants, the net job gains would be tremendous. Spread out over the course of five years, an average of over 290,000 year-round jobs would be created each year.
The authors were smart to note that the net job gains projected are only based on expected “capital investments in pollution controls and new generation and from coal plant retirements,” not from the clear economic benefits of “cleaner air, improved public health and increased competitiveness through innovative technologies.” So, in truth, it can be expected that even more jobs would be created by these regulations.
Virginia, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Ohio are expected to gain the most from the proposed regulations.
Environmental Regulations Create Quality, Needed Jobs
Yes, once again, environmental regulations improve the economy and create jobs, no matter what fossil-fuel-bought politicians would like to have you believe.
“These are American jobs in manufacturing, installing and operating modern pollution control technology and producing clean energy – jobs that come at a crucial time as our nation’s economy continues to recover and grow,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, commented.
Some big industries may need to invest a bit more money into cleaner, more environmentally-friendly technologies, but the benefits for the nation are clearly considerable.
Photo Credit: Long Island Business News
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